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The Network Society
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The Network Society

Third Edition


© 2012 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
The Network Society is now more than ever the essential guide to the past, consequences and future of digital communication.

Fully revised, this Third Edition covers crucial new issues and updates, including:

• the long history of social media and Web 2.0: why it's not as new as we think

• digital youth culture as a foreshadow of future new media use

• the struggle for control of the internet among Microsoft, Google, Apple and Facebook

• the contribution of media networks to the current financial crisis

• complete update of the literature on the facts, theories, trends and technologies of the internet

• new features for students with boxes of chapter questions, conclusions and boxed explanations of key concepts

This book remains an accessible, comprehensive, must-read introduction to how new media function in contemporary society.

 
Chapter 1. Introduction
A New Infrastructure for Society  
A Second Communications Revolution?  
Characteristics of the New Media  
Communication Capacities of the New Media  
The Nature and Design of the Book  
 
Chapter 2. Networks: The Nervous System of Society
What is a Network Society?  
A Short History of the Human Web  
Networks at All Levels  
Causes of the Rise of Networks  
The Seven 'Laws' of the Web  
From Mass Society to Network Society  
 
Chapter 3. Technology
Technical Foundations of the Network Society  
Current Technical Trends  
 
Chapter 4. Economy
Causes of the Current Communications Revolution  
A Flow Economy  
Enterprise 2.0  
Markets, Hierarchies and Networks  
Characteristics of a Network Economy  
The Producers: From Infrastructure to Service Providers  
The Consumers: The Pushers and Pulled  
 
Chapter 5. Politics and Power
The Vulnerability of Networks  
Network Politics  
The Internet: A Tool for Democracy?  
E-Participation  
Power in the Organization  
Privacy and Personal Autonomy  
 
Chapter 6. Law
The Law Undermined by Networks  
Who Rules the Internet?  
Information and Communication Freedom  
Intellectual Property Rights  
The Right to Privacy  
 
Chapter 7. Social Structure
Space and Time in the Network Society  
The Blurring Spheres of Living  
The Rise of the Social Media  
Unity and Fragmentation: A New Social Cohesion  
Networks and Social (In)Equality  
The Digital Divide  
The Instability of the Network Society  
 
Chapter 8. Culture
What Is Digital Culture?  
Characteristics of Digital Culture  
The Quantity and Quality of New Media Content  
Digital Youth Culture: Foreshadow of the Future?  
Trends in New Media Use  
 
Chapter 9. Psychology
Perception and the New Media  
Cognition and the New Media  
Learning with the New Media  
The Social Psychology of Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC)  
Changes in Human Personality?  
 
Chapter 10. Conclusions and Policy Perspectives
General Conclusions  
The Network Society in North America, Europe, East Asia and the Third World  
Policy Perspectives for the Network Society  

If you want to understand or teach the complex, interdisciplinary, and intriguing foundations for and social implications about one of the most significant social and technical transformations in communication history, this is the book. It is wide-ranging, integrative, literate, comprehensive, theoretical and practical, sometimes contrarian, thoughtful, encyclopedic, and moral
Ronald E. Rice
Arthur N. Rupe Professor in the Social Effects of Mass Communication, University of California Santa Barbara


This new edition provides deep interdisciplinary insight into the significance of new media in our lives. It outlines why we need to understand the frictions between increasingly intelligent machines and the desires of human beings. It does so with great clarity, providing a very valuable measured and critical assessment of the process of becoming a network society
Professor Robin Mansell
London School of Economics and Political Science


Jan Van Dijk draws from multiple theoretical perspectives to characterize historical trends across many sectors of network societies. His conclusion - that the Internet and related new media amplify rather than transform an array of global trends - will inform and stimulate debate about the implications of the communication revolution. The Network Society would be an excellent text for courses on the social role of the Internet and related new media
William H. Dutton
Professor of Internet Studies, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford


The core concept in this book is network 2.0. In a network 2.0 age, the Internet becomes a key channel for social networking. This book truly recognizes societal changes made by technical improvement in digital media. Each chapter is written in a clear and succinct way. It is strongly recommended as a requirement text for both researchers and policy-makers
Han Woo Park
Department of Media & Communication, YeungNam University, South Korea



An excellent, thought provoking and informative account.

Mr David Ness
Social Science, Moray College UHI
December 16, 2014

Although this book is quite interesting to read and very complet I miss the suggestion of some exercises or brainstorming act ivies.
Nevertheless, it gives a very good insight about the network society and it will be suggested to students as optional further reading.

Professor Célia Tavares
GAIE, Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administração do Porto
August 24, 2014

Fully revised, this Third Edition is a brilliant, thought-provoking, intelligent and highly illuminating book about new media. The Network Society is a basic text for general readers, students, and scholars of new media from different fields. It is an essential reading for anyone who is interested in understanding the widespread impact of the Internet. Van Dijk discusses foremost new issues and updates, including psychology of the Internet and characteristics of the information and network economy. This book covers a wide ranging approach to network society and social media.

Dr Sermin Tag Kalafatoglu
Department of Cinema and Television, Ordu University
June 6, 2014

On the list for our Virtual World module, very useful for its breadth, thoroughness and attention to the range of approaches

Mr Anthony Randall
Media & Performing Arts (Lancaster), University of Cumbria
February 13, 2014

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One


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