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Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life
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Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life

Second Edition


February 2018 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

What does it mean to live in a superconnected society? 

Superconnected: The Internet, Digital Media, and Techno-Social Life, Second Edition brings together the latest research from many relevant fields to examine how contemporary social life is mediated by various digital technologies: the internet, social media, and mobile devices. The book explores such topics as how digital technology led to the modern information age, information sharing and surveillance, how digital media shape socialization and development of the self, digital divides that separate groups in society, and the impact of digital media across social institutions. The author’s clear, nontechnical discussions and interdisciplinary synthesis make Superconnected an essential text for any course that examines how social life is affected when information and communication technology enter the picture.

Dr. Mary Chayko is a sociologist, Teaching Professor of Communication and Information, and Director of Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Studies at the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University. For more on the author and for instructor resources, visit her book blog at http://superconnectedblog.com.

 

 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1: Superconnectedness
Superconnected

 
The Internet . . .

 
. . . Digital Media . . .

 
. . . and Techno-Social Life

 
Technology, Mediation, and the Diffusion of Innovation

 
Sociality, or Being Social

 
This Book

 
 
Chapter 2: Creating the Internet Age
A (Very) Short History of Information and Communication Technology

 
A (Not Quite as) Short History of Computing and the Internet

 
The Web Is Born

 
A Deep, "Dark" Web Is Also Born

 
Wireless and Mobile Communication

 
Early Online Networking

 
Full-Featured Social Network Sites (SNSs) and Social Media

 
The Triple Revolution of the 2000s

 
 
Chapter 3: Inhabiting a Digital Environment
Sociomental Spaces, Cultures, and Societies

 
Why Not Cyberspace?

 
Online Communities, Networks, and Networking

 
Creating Digital Environments

 
Reality, Presence, and Proximity

 
Reality and the Brain

 
Emotionality and Intimacy

 
So . . . What About Physicality?

 
The Intersection of the Online and the Offline

 
 
Chapter 4: Sharing and Surveillance
Sharing and Prosuming in a Participatory Culture

 
Crowdsourcing

 
Liking and Following--And Being Liked and Followed

 
Ownership of Online Content

 
The Power to Disseminate and Publish Information

 
Accuracy, Inaccuracy, and the Rise and Transmission of “Fake” News and Information

 
Vertical, or Asymmetrical, Surveillance

 
Horizontal, or Social, Surveillance

 
Privacy and Obscurity

 
 
Chapter 5: Global Impacts and Inequalities
Globalization and Technology

 
Stratification and Inequality

 
Cultural Divides

 
Hacking, Danger, Crime, and War

 
Finding Solutions, Bridging Divides

 
Speaking Back to Power: Social Organization, Movements, and Activism

 
The Rise of Citizen Journalism

 
 
Chapter 6: Techno-Socialization and the Self
Socialization, Self, and Identity

 
Development and Performance of the Self

 
Expression of the Self

 
When Identity Is Marginalized

 
Growing Up Online and Offline

 
Socialization Never Ends: Socialization Throughout Adulthood

 
 
Chapter 7: Friending, Dating, and Relating
Interactivity

 
Making Digital Connections

 
“Chemistry” and Synchronicity

 
Friendship--Online and Offline

 
Flirting, Dating, Romance, and Sex

 
Trust and Social Support

 
Interpersonal Conflicts and Harassment

 
The Life Span of Digital Relationships

 
 
Chapter 8: The Techno-Social Institutions
The Institutional “Heart”: The Family

 
Health Care

 
Religion

 
Work and Commerce

 
Education and Libraries

 
Politics and Governing

 
The Media

 
 
Chapter 9: More Benefits and Hazards of 24/7 Superconnectedness
Constant Availability

 
Convenience and Microcoordination

 
Fun, Play, and Entertainment

 
Multitasking and the Attention Span

 
Stress, Information Overload, and FOMO

 
Emergencies

 
Dependency and Addiction

 
Health and Moods

 
Being Plugged In . . . to Society

 
 
Chapter 10: Our Superconnected Future
New and Emerging Technologies

 
The Techno-Social Path Ahead

 
The Human-Machine Connection

 
Our Personal Paths

 
 
Acknowledgments
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Don't let anybody tell you otherwise. From kids to seniors, we are the greatest generations: communicating, networking, and creating information and media constantly and collaboratively. In this lively, wide-ranging book, Mary Chayko tells you how and why we are the most superconnected society ever.

 
Barry Wellman, Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto (retired), co-director, NetLab Network, and author (with Lee Rainie), Networked

Dr. Mary Chayko provides a splendid tour of how social media came to be, what they are used for today, and what they are doing for and to us. Clearly written, Superconnected makes a fine introduction to the subject for students and general readers alike.

 
James E. Katz, Feld Family Professor of Emerging Media, Boston University, and author (with Michael Barris and Anshul Jane), The Social Media President

Mary Chayko has crafted a most remarkable work in Superconnected. Rarely have I seen a writer at such ease in identifying and explaining both the essential techno-social building blocks of information and communication technologies and the rich, fascinating behaviors associated with them. Sharing and surveillance, emotion and presence, hacking and activism, crowdsourcing and accountability, friending and dating, multitasking and stress -- these are just a few of Chayko’s inspired and informed topics. The work of a topnotch scholar and master teacher, Superconnected is inviting and compelling, friendly and challenging, unique and vital. It is the book I have been waiting for -- perfect for any undergraduate class on information and communication technologies.

 
Christena Nippert-Eng, Professor of Informatics, Indiana University, and author, Islands of Privacy

Superconnected is a provocative, thoughtful and thorough examination of the contemporary digital state of affairs. It will educate, provoke and inspire readers to form new perspectives on the consequences of new media in everyday life.

 
Steve Jones, UIC Professor of Communication, University of Illinois - Chicago, and editor, New Media and Society

Mary Chayko's Superconnected is an indispensable, interdisciplinary guide to the complexities of life in the digital age. Engagingly written and masterfully covering a wide range of essential and nuanced topics, it is a unique text that is ideal for any reader who wants to know how our current techno-social condition emerged and the promises and pitfalls of living in it. An outstanding text that deserves to be adopted across the disciplines.

 
Evan Selinger, Professor of Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, and author (with Brett Frischmann) of the forthcoming Being Human in the 21st Century

In Superconnected, Mary Chayko gives the reader a grand tour of the digital world. From history to hypertext, from the web to wireless, from cognition to community, from proxemics to participation to power, from the self to sharing to surveillance, from romance to rights and from group to globalization...it is all here to be enjoyed in her insightful work.

 
Rich Ling, Shaw Foundation Professor of Media Technology, Nanyang Technological University, and author, Taken For Grantedness

Superconnected is captivating in its approach as it dispels old myths and provides new insights into the functioning of a digital society. No other text provides such in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of such a wide range of issues, weaving together theory and on-the-ground examples, and local and global understandings, of how the internet and digital media/technologies have radically transformed many aspects of modern life.


Anabel Quan-Haase, Associate Professor of Sociology and Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, and author, Technology and Society

Writing in a clear and lucid style, Mary Chayko explores the impact of internet and digital media on many aspects of our lives, examining issues ranging from friending and liking to surveillance and global inequalities.  The book is highly readable, an ideal text for undergraduate students as well as the general public who are interested in such topics.

 
Shanyang Zhao, Professor of Sociology, Temple University

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ISBN: 9781506394855
£35.99