Social Media

Social Media
A Critical Introduction

Second Edition
Companion Website

February 2017 | 400 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"Timely new chapters on China and the 'sharing economy' of Uber and Airbnb strengthen an already vital contribution to communication studies. Through the lens of critical theory, Fuchs provides the essential text for students of our new media world."

Vincent Mosco, Queen's University, Ontario

With social media changing how we use and understand everything from communication and the news to transport, more than ever it is essential to ask the right kinds of questions about the business and politics of social media. This book equips students with the critical thinking they need to understand the complexities and contradictions and make informed judgements.

This Second Edition:
  • Lays bare the structures and power relations at the heart of our media landscape
  • Explores the sharing economy of Uber and Airbnb in a brand new chapter
  • Takes us into the politics and economy of social media in China
  • Puts forward powerful arguments for how to achieve a social media that serves the purposes of a just and fair world
This book is the essential, critical guide for all students of media studies and sociology. Readers will never look at social media the same way again.
What is a Critical Introduction to Social Media?
What are Social Media and Big Data?
Social Media as Participatory Culture
Social Media and Communication Power
The Power and Political Economy of Social Media
Google: Good or Evil Search Engine?
Facebook: Surveillance in the Age of Edward Snowden
Twitter and Democracy: A New Public Sphere?
Weibo and Chinese Capitalism
The Political Economy of Online Sharing Platforms in the Age of Airbnb and Uber
WikiLeaks: Can We Make Power Transparent?
Wikipedia: A New Democratic Form of Collaborative Work and Production?
Conclusion: Social Media and its Alternatives – Towards a Truly Social Media


Interview with Christian Fuchs
Watch a conversation between Christian Fuchs and Simon Lindgren to learn what it means to be truly critical in social media and look at the dark side of the internet, and also to explore concepts such as public service internetplay labour, privacy fetishism and digital Marxism
Article on the sharing economy
Christian Fuchs discusses the legal struggles of Uber drivers while debunking the myth that the capitalist sharing economy is fair. 
The second edition of  “Social Media: A Critical Introduction”  will contain a chapter on “The Political Economy of Online Sharing Platforms in the Age of Airbnb and Uber”.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 5: The Power and Political Economy of Social Media

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ISBN: 9781473966833
ISBN: 9781473966826