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Understanding Digital Culture



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SAGE Publications Ltd
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This is the edition with a publication date of 3/2/2011.
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This is more than just another book on Internet studies. Tracing the pervasive influence of 'digital culture' throughout contemporary life, this text integrates socio-economic understandings of the 'information society' with the cultural studies approach to production, use, and consumption of digital media and multimedia. Refreshingly readable and packed with examples from profiling databases and mashups to cybersex and the truth about social networking, Understanding Digital Culture: #x2B22; crosses disciplines to give a balanced account of the social, economic and cultural dimensions of the information society #x2B22; illuminates the increasing importance of mobile, wireless and converged media technologies in everyday life #x2B22; unpacks how the information society is transforming and challenging traditional notions of crime, resistance, war and protest, community, intimacy and belonging #x2B22; charts the changing cultural forms associated with new media and its consumption, including music, gaming, microblogging and online identity #x2B22; illustrates the above through a series of contemporary, in-depth case studies of digital culture. This is the perfect text for students looking for a full account of the information society, virtual cultures, sociology of the Internet and new media.

Table of Contents

Revolutionary Technologies?
The Social Determinism of Technology
Technological Enablement
Base, Superstructure, Infrastructure
The Structure of the Book
Key Elements of Digital Media
Technical Processes
Hypertextual/ Hypermediated
Cultural Forms
Context (or lack of it)
Immersive Experiences
Case Study: What Are Video Games? a Conundrum of Digital Culture
Are Video Games 'Narratives'?
Are Video Games 'Games'?
Are Video Games 'Simulations'?
Further Reading
The Economic Foundations of the Information Age
Problems With The Post-Industrial Thesis
The Information Society
Post-Fordism and Globalization
Informationalism and the Network Society
The Structure of Networks
The Space Flows and Timeless Time
Network Economy and network Enterprise
Weightless Economies, Intellectual Property and the Commodification of Knowledge
Weightless Money
Weightless Services
Weightless Products
The Advantages of a Weightless Economy
(Intellectual) Property in a Weightless Economy
Information Feudalism
Further Reading
Convergence and the Contemporary Media Experience
Technological Convergence
Regulatory Convergence
Media Industry Convergence
Concerns About Media Convergence
Convergence Culture and the New Media Experience
The Creation of Cross-Media Experiences
Participatory Media Culture
Collective Intelligence
Producers, Consumers and 'Produsage'
Case Study: The Changing Culture Industry of Digital Music
The Diginisation of Music and its Discontents
'Mash-Ups' and the Crisis of Authorship in Digital Culture
Digital Music Cultures and Music Consumption
Further Reading
Digital Inequality: Social, Political and Infrastructural Contexts
'Digital Divides' and 'Access'
Domestic Digital Divides
Global Digital Divides
Mobile Phones, Access and the Developing World
Economic Reasons
Social Reasons
Legislative Reasons
The Benefits of Mobile Telephony for the Developing World
Further Reading
'Everyone is Watching': Privacy and Surveillance in Digital Life
The Changing Cultural Contexts of Privacy
Privacy as a Legal Construction: a Contradiction
Digital Surveillance: Spaces, Traces and Tools
Key Tools of Digital Surveillance
The Rise of Surveillance: Causes and Processes
Security Imperatives: Surveillance and The Nation-State
Surveillance, Control Imperatives and Bureaucratic Structures
Commercial Imperatives and the Political economy of Surveillance
Marketing and Personal Data Collection
Databases, Data-mining, and Discourses
The Power of Profiling
Databases and Profiling: Pro's and con's
Why Care About Surveillance Society?
Further Reading
Information Politics, Subversion and Warfare
The Political Context of Information Politics
ICT-Enabled Politics
Internal Organisation and Mobilisation
External Collaboration and Coordination
Flexible Organisation and 'Smartmobs'
Permanent Political Campaigns: Linear Collaboration
An Internet Public Sphere?
Digital Disobedience: ICT-Based Activism
ICTs and Mainstream Politics
Cyber Politics by Another Means: Cyber Warfare
Cyber Warfare as Network-Centric Warfare
Cyber Warfare as Information Warfare
Cyber Warfare as Espionage
Cyber Warfare as Economic Sabotage
Cyber Warfare as Critical Infrastructure Attack
Adjunct Attacks
Further Reading
Digital Identity
'Objects to Think With': Early Internet Studies and Poststructuralism
Personal Home Pages and the 'Re-Centring' of the Individual
Personal Blogging, Individualisation and the Reflexive Project of the Self
Social Networks, profiles and networked Identity
Avatar and Identity
Case Study: Cybersex, Online Intimacy and the Self
The Late-Modern Context of Love and Intimacy
Cybersex: a Novel Form of Intimacy
Further Reading
Social Media and the Problem of Community: Space, Relationships, Networks
Searching for Lost Community: Urbanisation, Space and Scales of Experience
Community, Globalisation, Technology and Individualism
'Virtual' Communities: The Next Step?
The Virtues of Virtual Communities
The Vices of Virtual Community
The Reality of the Situation
Network Societies, Network Socialities and Networked Individualism
The Network Society Revisited
Networked Individualism
The Truth About the Networks
Case Study: Social Networking, Microblogging, Language and Phatic Culture
Technology, Presence and the Post-Social
Language, technology and Phatic Communication
Further Reading
The Body and Information Technology
The Body, Technology and Society
The Posthuman
Material as Information 1: Extropianism and disembodiment, or 'Flesh Made Data'
Material as Information 2: Technological Embodiment or 'Data Made Flesh'
Technology, Embodiment Relations and the 'Homo Faber'
Embodiment Relation and Mobile Technologies
Further Reading
Conclusion: Base, Superstructure and Infrastructure (Revisited)
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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