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Understanding Digital Culture

Understanding Digital Culture

Second Edition

March 2020 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
From profiling databases and mashups to cybersex and the truth about social networking, Miller's insightful second edition traces the pervasive influence of 'digital culture' throughout contemporary life.

He integrates socio-economic understandings of the 'information society' with the cultural studies approach to production, use, and consumption of digital media and multimedia. Still refreshingly readable and packed with new examples; Understanding Digital Culture:
  • Includes new and updated material on work and commodity production in digital capitalism, "slacktivism", industrial espionage and major bank hacks, the rise of mobile dating apps, and cyber-bullying alongside trolling.
  • Unpacks how the information society is transforming and challenging traditional notions of crime, resistance, war and protest, community, intimacy and belonging.
  • Crosses disciplines to give a balanced account of the social, economic and cultural dimensions of the information society.
  • Illuminates the increasing importance of mobile, wireless and converged media technologies in everyday life.
  • Charts the changing cultural forms associated with new media and its consumption, including music, gaming, microblogging and online identity.
  • 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.

Revolutionary Technologies?

The Structure of the Book

Chapter 1: Key Elements of Digital Media
Technical Processes

Cultural Forms

Immersive Experiences

Chapter 2: The Economic Foundations of the Information Age

The Information Society

Post-Fordism and Globalisation

Informationalism and the Network Society

Weightless Economies, Intellectual Property and the Commodification of Knowledge

Chapter 3: Convergence and the Contemporary Media Experience
Technological Convergence

Regulatory Convergence

Media Industry Convergence

Convergence Culture ad the Contemporary Media Experience

Producers, Consumers, Prosumers and 'Produsage'

Chapter 4: 'Everyone is Watching': Privacy and Surveillance in Digital Life
The Changing Cultural Contexts of Privacy

Digital Surveillance: Spaces, Traces and Tools

The Rise Surveillance: Causes and Processes

Commercial Imperatives and the Political Economy of Surveillance

Why Care about a Surveillance Society?

Chapter 5: Information Politics and the Online Public Sphere
The Poltical Context of Information Politics

ICT-Enabled Politics

An Internet Public Sphere?

Chapter 6: Cybercrime, Cyberterrorism and Cyberware
Cybercrime: A Muddy Field

The Tools and Techniques of Cybercrime, Cyberactivism and Cyberwarfare

Cyber Politics by Another Means: Cyber Warfare

Chapter 7: Digital Identity
'Objects to Think with': Early Internet Studies and Poststructuralism

Personal Homepages and the 'Re-Centring' of the Individual

Personal Blogging, Individualisation and the Reflexive Project of the Self

Avatar and Identity

Social Networks, Profiles and Networked Identity

Who needs Identity?

Chapter 8: Digital Community? Space, Networks and Relationships
Searching for Lost Community: Urbanisation, Space and Scales of Experience

Globalisation, Technology and the Rise of Individualism

'Virtual' Communities Over Before they Began?

Network Societies, Network Socialities and Networked Individualism

Being Together Online: Networks, Instrumentalism and Intimacy

Chapter 9: The Body and Information Technology
The Body, Technology and Society

The Posthuman

Technology, Embodiment Relations and 'Homo Faber'

Conclusion: Base, Superstructure, Infrastructure (Revisited)

The first edition of Understanding Digital Culture set a new benchmark as the most comprehensive, scholarly and accessible introduction to the area. This latest edition, thoroughly updated and substantially expanded, is even better – a perfectly balanced book that combines theory and empirical analysis to illuminate the cutting-edge of cultural and social change.

Majid Yar
Lancaster University

Vince Miller's new edition of Understanding Digital Culture is a key reading for everyone who wants to come to grips with the complexities of media, the economy, culture, society, privacy, surveillance, politics, the public sphere, identity, crime, terror, war, community, and the body in the digital age. 

Christian Fuchs
University of Westminster

I have used this book for a course on digital culture (bachelor’s degree). The author provides a wide list of references to literature in the field and have made a beautiful overview of literature, history, and various perspectives. I think it’s a very nice piece of work, which contextualizing a lot of contemporary issues related to digital media, social media, ICT, artificial intelligence. There you can find short introductions to most important theories on digital culture as well.

Dr Vincas Grigas
Library Science, Vilnius University
May 1, 2020

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ISBN: 9781473993877

ISBN: 9781473993860