The Public Space of Social Media : Connected Cultures of the Network Society book cover
1st Edition

The Public Space of Social Media
Connected Cultures of the Network Society

ISBN 9780415635233
Published June 18, 2013 by Routledge
188 Pages

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Book Description

Social media is restructuring urban practices–through ad-hoc experimentation, commercial software development, and communities of participation. This book is the first to consider how practices contained within social media are situated within a larger genealogy of public space, including theories of communal identity, civitas and democracy, the fete, and self-expression. Through empirical research, the actual social practices of participants of networked publics are described and analyzed.

Documenting how online counterpublics use the Internet to transmit classified photos, mobilize activists, and challenge the status quo, Tierney argues that online activities do not stop in online conversations; they are physically grounded through mobile GPS coordinates which are then transformed into activities in physical space—the street, the plaza, the places where people have traditionally gathered to demonstrate and express their opinions publicly.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Reappropriating Social Media: Internet activism, counterpublics, and implications 2. Assembling the Publics: Spatial, media, and network publics 3. Origins of Networked Publics: A multi-threaded socio-geographical history 4. Networked Identity Making: Cultural analysis of a social media platform–Facebook 5. Surveying Social Media: Empirical research, content analysis and interpretation 6. Technological Innovation: Public Implications Conclusion

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Thérèse F. Tierney is an Assistant Professor of Architecture with a Designated Emphasis in New Media at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, US.


"The Public Space of Social Media provides a historically and theoretically grounded analysis of the way digital territories and performances redefine how the public situates itself within urban spaces. Not only does it expand the discourse with what urban space might look like today, but it also engages how the digital tools many of us take for granted in distributing and consuming content beg for us to refine the way we inhabit the city." - Kelsey Brennan, University of California, Berkeley, in TDSR