This book considers the lessons learnt so far from the emergence of the Internet and the development of the field of Internet studies, whilst also considering possible directions for the future. Examining broad media theories and emerging theorisations around the Internet specifically, it explores the possibility of the development of an Internet theory in the future. A comprehensive overview of the field, Internet Studies considers key issues of social importance that the study of the Internet draws upon, such as the role of the Internet in civic participation and democratisation, the development of virtual communities, digital divides and social inequality, as well as Internet governance and policy control. At the same time, it examines the role of the Internet in social research and the development of highly interdisciplinary and rapidly developing Internet research. Hence, this volume maps key areas of certainty and uncertainty in the field of Internet studies and, as such, it will be of interest to scholars and students of media and communication, sociology and social research methods.
Panayiota Tsatsou is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, UK, and author of Digital Divides Today.
’Tsatsou’s book is a must-read for Internet researchers. Its breadth and scope make it a singular and defining volume for the field of Internet Studies. It marks a watershed moment in the development of Internet research and will be a foundation and springboard for future research.’ Steve Jones, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA ’This synthesis of one of the most burgeoning interdisciplinary fields of the 21st century should be required reading for any student or scholar with a serious interest in study of the Internet and its societal implications.’ William H. Dutton, University of Oxford, UK