Misunderstanding The Internet

Author: James Curran
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317443519
Size: 36.48 MB
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The growth of the internet has been spectacular. There are now more than 3 billion internet users across the globe, some 40 per cent of the world’s population. The internet’s meteoric rise is a phenomenon of enormous significance for the economic, political and social life of contemporary societies. However, much popular and academic writing about the internet continues to take a celebratory view, assuming that the internet’s potential will be realised in essentially positive and transformative ways. This was especially true in the euphoric moment of the mid-1990s, when many commentators wrote about the internet with awe and wonderment. While this moment may be over, its underlying technocentrism – the belief that technology determines outcomes – lingers on and, with it, a failure to understand the internet in its social, economic and political contexts. Misunderstanding the Internet is a short introduction, encompassing the history, sociology, politics and economics of the internet and its impact on society. This expanded and updated second edition is a polemical, sociologically and historically informed guide to the key claims that have been made about the online world. It aims to challenge both popular myths and existing academic orthodoxies that surround the internet.

Misunderstanding News Audiences

Author: Eiri Elvestad
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315444348
Size: 76.23 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Misunderstanding News Audiences interrogates the prevailing myths around the impact of the Internet and social media on news consumption and democracy. The book draws on a broad range of comparative research into audience engagement with news, across different geographic regions, to provide insight into the experience of news audiences in the twenty-first century. From its inception, it was imagined that the Internet would benignly transform the nature of news media and its consumers. There were predictions that it would, for example, break up news oligarchies, improve plurality and diversity through news personalisation, create genuine social solidarity online, and increase political awareness and participation among citizens. However, this book finds that, while mainstream news media is still the major source of news, the new media environment appears to lead to greater polarisation between news junkies and news avoiders, and to greater political polarisation. The authors also argue that the dominant role of the USA in the field of news audience research has created myths about a global news audience, which obscures the importance of national context as a major explanation for news exposure differences. Misunderstanding News Audiences presents an important analysis of findings from recent audience studies and, in doing so, encourages readers to re-evaluate popular beliefs about the influence of the Internet on news consumption and democracy in the West.

Theories Of The Information Society

Author: Frank Webster
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134134789
Size: 20.96 MB
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Coping in an era of information flows, of virtual relationships and breakneck change poses challenges to one and all. In Theories of the Information Society Frank Webster makes sense of the information explosion, taking a sceptical look at what thinkers mean when they refer to the 'Information Society' and critically examines the major post-war theories and approaches to informational development. This third edition brings the book right up to date with both new theoretical work and, social and technological changes (such as the rapid growth of the Internet and accelerated globalization), reassessing the work of key theorists in light of these changes. This book is essential reading for students of contemporary social theory and anybody interested in social and technological change in the post-war era. It addresses issues of central concern to students of sociology, politics, communications, information science, cultural studies, computing and librarianship.

Internet And Society

Author: Christian Fuchs
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135898820
Size: 24.35 MB
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In this exceptional study, Christian Fuchs discusses how the internet has transformed the lives of human beings and social relationships in contemporary society. By outlining a social theory of the internet and the information society, he demonstrates how the ecological, economic, political, and cultural systems of contemporary society have been transformed by new ICTs. Fuchs highlights how new forms of cooperation and competition are advanced and supported by the internet in subsystems of society and also discusses opportunities and risks of the information society.

The Contradictions Of Media Power

Author: Des Freedman
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1849666105
Size: 31.37 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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Media power is a crucial, although often taken for granted, concept. We assume, for example, that the media are 'powerful'; if they were not, why would there be so many controversies over the regulation, control and impact of communicative institutions and processes? Further, we assume that this 'power' is somehow problematic; audiences are often treated as highly susceptible to media influence and too much 'power' in the hands of one organization or individual is seen as risky and potentially dangerous. These concerns have been at the heart of recent controversies involving the relationships between media moguls and political elites, the consequences of phone hacking in the UK, and the emerging influence of social media as vital gatekeepers. Yet it is still not clear what we mean by media power or how effective it is. This book evaluates contrasting definitions of media power and looks at the key sites in which power is negotiated, concentrated and resisted - politically, technologically and economically. Combining an evaluation of both previous literature and new research, the book seeks to establish an understanding of media power which does justice to the complexities and contradictions of the contemporary social world. It will be important reading for undergraduates, postgraduates, researchers and activists alike.

Beyond Misunderstanding

Author: Kristin Bührig
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing
ISBN: 902729366X
Size: 55.10 MB
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This book challenges two tacit presumptions in the field of intercultural communication research. Firstly, misunderstandings can frequently be found in intercultural communication, although, one could not claim that intercultural communication is constituted by misunderstandings alone. This volume shows how new perspectives on linguistic analyses of intercultural communication go beyond the analysis of misunderstanding. Secondly, intercultural communication is not solely constituted by the fact that individuals from different cultural groups interact. Each contribution of this volume analyses to what extent instances of discourse are institutionally and/or interculturally determined. These linguistic reflections involve different theoretical frameworks, e.g. functional grammar, systemic functional linguistics, functional pragmatics, rhetorical conversation analysis, ethno-methodological conversation analysis, linguistic an­thro­­pology and a critical discourse approach. As the contributions focus on the discourse of genetic counseling, gate-keeping discourse, international team co-operation, international business communication, workplace discourse, internet communication, and lamentation discourse, the book exemplifies that the analysis of intercultural communication is organized in response to social needs and, therefore, may contribute to the social justification of linguistics.

The Zero Marginal Cost Society

Author: Jeremy Rifkin
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 1137437766
Size: 59.30 MB
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In The Zero Marginal Cost Society, New York Times bestselling author Jeremy Rifkin describes how the emerging Internet of Things is speeding us to an era of nearly free goods and services, precipitating the meteoric rise of a global Collaborative Commons and the eclipse of capitalism. Rifkin uncovers a paradox at the heart of capitalism that has propelled it to greatness but is now taking it to its death—the inherent entrepreneurial dynamism of competitive markets that drives productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services in order to win over consumers and market share. (Marginal cost is the cost of producing additional units of a good or service, if fixed costs are not counted.) While economists have always welcomed a reduction in marginal cost, they never anticipated the possibility of a technological revolution that might bring marginal costs to near zero, making goods and services priceless, nearly free, and abundant, and no longer subject to market forces. Now, a formidable new technology infrastructure—the Internet of things (IoT)—is emerging with the potential of pushing large segments of economic life to near zero marginal cost in the years ahead. Rifkin describes how the Communication Internet is converging with a nascent Energy Internet and Logistics Internet to create a new technology platform that connects everything and everyone. Billions of sensors are being attached to natural resources, production lines, the electricity grid, logistics networks, recycling flows, and implanted in homes, offices, stores, vehicles, and even human beings, feeding Big Data into an IoT global neural network. Prosumers can connect to the network and use Big Data, analytics, and algorithms to accelerate efficiency, dramatically increase productivity, and lower the marginal cost of producing and sharing a wide range of products and services to near zero, just like they now do with information goods. The plummeting of marginal costs is spawning a hybrid economy—part capitalist market and part Collaborative Commons—with far reaching implications for society, according to Rifkin. Hundreds of millions of people are already transferring parts of their economic lives to the global Collaborative Commons. Prosumers are plugging into the fledgling IoT and making and sharing their own information, entertainment, green energy, and 3D-printed products at near zero marginal cost. They are also sharing cars, homes, clothes and other items via social media sites, rentals, redistribution clubs, and cooperatives at low or near zero marginal cost. Students are enrolling in free massive open online courses (MOOCs) that operate at near zero marginal cost. Social entrepreneurs are even bypassing the banking establishment and using crowdfunding to finance startup businesses as well as creating alternative currencies in the fledgling sharing economy. In this new world, social capital is as important as financial capital, access trumps ownership, sustainability supersedes consumerism, cooperation ousts competition, and "exchange value" in the capitalist marketplace is increasingly replaced by "sharable value" on the Collaborative Commons. Rifkin concludes that capitalism will remain with us, albeit in an increasingly streamlined role, primarily as an aggregator of network services and solutions, allowing it to flourish as a powerful niche player in the coming era. We are, however, says Rifkin, entering a world beyond markets where we are learning how to live together in an increasingly interdependent global Collaborative Commons.

Misunderstanding Media

Author: Brian Winston
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131551219X
Size: 21.92 MB
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The 1980s saw constant reports of an information revolution. This book, first published in 1986, challenges this view. It argues that the information revolution is an illusion, a rhetorical gambit, an expression of profound historical ignorance, and a movement dedicated to purveying misunderstanding and disseminating disinformation. In this historically based attack on the information revolution, Professor Winston takes a had look at the four central information technologies – telephones, television, computers and satellites. He describes how these technologies were created and diffused, showing that instead of revolution we just have ‘business as usual’. He formulates a ‘law’ of the suppression of radical potential – a law which states that new telecommunication technologies are introduced into society only insofar as their disruptive potential is contained. Despite the so-called information revolution, the major institutions of society remain unchanged, and most of us remain in total ignorance of the history of technology.

Communication Power

Author: Manuel Castells
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199681937
Size: 75.69 MB
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Drawing on a wide range of social and psychological theories, Castells presents original research on political processes and social movements. He applies this analysis to numerous recent events - the misinformation of the American public on the Iraq War,the global environmental movement to preventclimate change, the control of information in China and Russia, Barak Obama's internet-based presidential campaigns, and (in this new edition) responses to recent political and economic crises such as the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. On the basis of these case studies he proposes a newtheory of power in the information age based on the management of communication networks.

Political Communication And Social Theory

Author: Aeron Davis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1136940286
Size: 16.39 MB
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Political Communication and Social Theory presents an advanced and challenging text for students and scholars of political communication and mass media in democracies. It draws together work from across political communication, media sociology and political sociology, and includes a mix of theoretical debate and current examples from several democratic media systems. Its wide ranging discussions both introduce and contest the traditional scholarship on a number of contemporary topics and issues. These include: comparative political and media systems theories of democracy, representation and the public sphere political party communication, marketing and elections the production of news media and public policy media sociology and journalist-source relations celebrity politics, popular culture and political leadership new media and online democracy national-global politics and international political communication foreign policy-making, war and media the crisis of public communication in established democracies. At the same time, Political Communication and Social Theory also offers a fascinating investigation of the causes of crisis in established political and media systems. In today’s democracies, trust in politicians, state institutions and mainstream media sources has dropped to new lows. The traditional business model that sustained journalism is failing and nations are struggling to respond to the existing global recession and impending environmental and resource crises. Drawing on interviews with over 100 experienced politicians, journalists and civil servants, Aeron Davis explores how the varied political actors and communicative processes, at the centre of UK democracy, may or may not be contributing to such crisis tendencies.