A sociological approach to understanding new media’s impact on society
We use cell phones, computers, and tablets to access the Internet, read the news, watch television, chat with our friends, make our appointments, and post on social networking sites. New media provide the backdrop for most of our encounters. We swim in a technological world yet we rarely think about how new media potentially change the ways in which we interact with one another or shape how we live our lives.
In New Media and Society, Deana Rohlinger provides a sociological approach to understanding how new media shape our interactions, our experiences, and our institutions. Using case studies and in-class exercises, Rohlinger explores how new media alter everything from our relationships with friends and family to our experiences in the workplace. Each chapter takes up a different topic – our sense of self and our relationships, education, religion, law, work, and politics – and assesses how new media alter our worlds as well as our expectations and experiences in institutional settings. Instead of arguing that these changes are “good” or “bad” for American society, the book uses sociological theory to challenge readers to think about the consequences of these changes, which typically have both positive and negative aspects.
New Media and Society begins with a brief explanation of new media and social institutions, highlighting how sociologists understand complex, changing relationships. After outlining the influence of new media on our identities and relationships, it discusses the effects new media have on how we think about education, practice our religions, understand police surveillance, conceptualize work, and participate in politics. Each chapter includes key sociological concepts, engaging activities that illustrate the ideas covered in the chapter, as well as links, films, and references to additional online material.
"New Media and Society is a breath of fresh air. Rohlinger’s approach manages to be both sophisticated and accessible, providing engaging and insightful analyses of the relationship between new media and key social institutions ranging from religion and work to politics and education. Not only does it fill a gap in many sociological courses on media, it is a fabulous supplement for introduction to sociology courses. This timely text is not to be missed."-Sarah Sobieraj,Author of Soundbitten: The Perils of Media-Centered Political Activism
"The Internet and social media have changed virtually everything about social life. Rohlinger's indispensable book explains how. Rather than celebrating or lamenting the new world we live in, she shows what's different, how, and why it matters."-David S. Meyer,Author of The Politics of Protest: Social Movements in America
"New Media and Society by Deana Rohlinger is one of the most lively and accessible texts on digital media and social life I've read! It's perfect for lower division courses, incisively, approachably, and clearly introducing students to sociology as a discipline, to sociological theory from Durkheim to Goffman to Giddens, and to contemporary issues in America ranging from predictive policing to sexting. Rohlinger gets deep into sociological theory and contemporary research on digital media to unpack the power of sociology for uncovering important social insights and for understanding the role of social institutions and social inequality in society."-Jennifer Earl,Co-author of Digitally Enabled Social Change