Research on communication and information technologies is of growing importance to sociology and the interdisciplinary examination of communication and (new) media. This volume includes eight chapters examining recent developments in the field, illustrating the maturation, vibrancy, and diversity of this field of study as well as pointing to rich new avenues for scholarly exploration. Contributions aptly chart three key developments that characterize current research on communication and digital media. First, chapters demonstrate the maturation of work on measurement, demonstrating the importance of refining measurements of online activities and their consequences. For instance, contributions evaluate: social network measures frequently used in online research; alternative measures for online activity; and alternative measures of Twitter activity. Second, the volume showcases continued work on understanding user behaviour, including research on the consequence of reward systems similar to badges and on the limitations of purely technological solutions to social dilemmas in emergency preparedness. Finally, chapters identify emerging questions for the field related to social media, such as research on potential privacy and identity implications of social media, different dispositions toward social media use, and variation in levels of social media usage.
This book was originally published as a special issue of Information, Communication & Society.
Table of Contents
1. Hitting middle age never felt so good: introduction to the American Sociological Association Communication and Information Technologies section 2013 Jennifer Earl and Katrina Kimport 2. Testing the validity of social capital measures in the study of information and communication technologies Lora Appel, Punit Dadlani, Maria Dwyer, Keith Hampton, Vanessa Kitzie, Ziad A. Matni, Patricia Moore and Rannie Teodoro 3. Dimensions of Internet use: amount, variety, and types Grant Blank and Darja Groselj 4. Twitter publics: how online political communities signaled electoral outcomes in the 2010 US house election Karissa McKelvey, Joseph DiGrazia and Fabio Rojas 5. No praise without effort: experimental evidence on how rewards affect Wikipedia’s contributor community Michael Restivo and Arnout van de Rijt 6. Need to know vs. need to share: information technology and the intersecting work of police, fire and paramedics Carrie B. Sanders 7. Context collapse: theorizing context collusions and collisions Jenny L. Davis and Nathan Jurgenson 8. Are we all equally at home socializing online? Cyberasociality and evidence for an unequal distribution of disdain for digitally-mediated sociality Zeynep Tufekci and Matthew E. Brashears 9. Revisiting the digital divide in Canada: the impact of demographic factors on access to the internet, level of online activity, and social networking site usage Michael Haight, Anabel Quan-Haase and Bradley A. Corbett
Jennifer Earl is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona, USA. She is also Director Emerita of the Center for Information Technology and Society at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research focuses on social movements, information technologies, and the sociology of law.
Katrina Kimport is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Science and a research sociologist in the Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH) program at the University of California, San Francisco, USA. Her research focuses on gender, sexuality, and social movements.