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

The Public Space of Social Media

Connected Cultures of the Network Society, 1st Edition

By Therese Tierney


178 pages

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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.


"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

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

About the Author

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

About the Series

Routledge Studies in New Media and Cyberculture

This series is our home for innovative research in the field of digital media. It includes monographs and targeted edited collections that provide new insights into this subject as its influence and significance grow into the twenty-first century.


To submit a proposal for this series, please contact:
Suzanne Richardson, Commissioning Editor for Media, Cultural and Communication Studies
[email protected]

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
COMPUTERS / Internet / General
COMPUTERS / Web / Social Networking
COMPUTERS / Social Aspects / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies