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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


© 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
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION: 
  • Current events, the latest statistics and new research findings are reflected throughout the book, including richly-detailed sections on the rise of “fake” news and information, the human-machine relationship, and the history and implications of the “dark web” and the “deep web.”
  • The book’s companion blog, superconnectedblog.com, now includes customizable lecture slides and discussion questions for each chapter.
  • Short podcasts, recorded by the author and posted to her blog, provide fun, unique points of access to every chapter. 


KEY FEATURES:

  • Gathers and synthesizes findings from multiple fields that overlap, to give a comprehensive picture of modern techno-social life.
  • Opens with a short, engrossing history of internet and digital/mobile/social media to provide context for the chapters that follow.
  • Recognizes that the entire world is not “superconnected” and contrasts high-tech societies with those that are less developed technologically.
  • Incorporates excerpts from interviews conducted by the author, to provide firsthand accounts of how we experience digital media.

 


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