Starting in the early 1990s, journalists and scholars began responding to and trying to take account of new technologies and their impact on our lives. By the end of the decade, the full-fledged study of cyberculture had arrived. Today, there exists a large body of critical work on the subject, with cutting-edge studies probing beyond the mere existence of virtual communities and online identities to examine the social, cultural, and economic relationships that take place online.
Taking stock of the exciting work that is being done and positing what cyberculture’s future might look like, Critical Cyberculture Studies brings together a diverse and multidisciplinary group of scholars from around the world to assess the state of the field. Opening with a historical overview of the field by its most prominent spokesperson, it goes on to highlight the interests and methodologies of a mobile and creative field, providing a much-needed how-to guide for those new to cyberstudies. The final two sections open up to explore issues of race, class, and gender and digital media's ties to capital and commerce—from the failure of dot-coms to free software and the hacking movement.
This flagship book is a must-read for anyone interested in the dynamic and increasingly crucial study of cyberculture and new technologies.
“Rich with ideas, the book excels by stimulating thought and generating discussion.”
—Information, Communication, and Society
“As more and more people use computers, the Internet and mobile phones, the study of their effects on our culture (and vice versa) becomes increasingly important. Framed as a “how-to guide for those new to cyberstudies,” Critical Cyberculture Studies goes some of the way to emphasising the importance and the diversity of this young academic field.”
“As studies of the Internet and cyberculture begin to mature, it is a particularly important time for critical studies—critical of the subject matter, and critical of the emerging field itself. The consciously interdisciplinary approach of Critical Cyberculture Studies, and the depth and breadth of the contributions, make this an important foundational work for a new field of study. If only we had had a critical study of communication when the Gutenberg revolution was beginning!”
—Howard Rheingold, author of The Virtual Community and Smart Mobs
“This expansive book functions as both survey and call to action. Even as they map the shifting contours of an emergent field, the editors and contributors warn against the deadening force of disciplinarity. They encourage a nimble, flexible formulation of cyberculture studies, one that can keep pace with the rapid pulse of technological change and, more importantly, also address the injustices wrought of life in a networked age. Like the best traditions of cultural studies, they aim not just to describe our moment but to matter in the world.”
—Tara McPherson, USC School of Cinema-Television
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