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The growth of the internet has been spectacular. There are now more 1.5 billion internet users across the globe, about one quarter of the world’s population. This is certainly a new phenomenon that is of enormous significance for the economic, political and social life of contemporary societies.However, much popular and academic writing about the internet takes a technologThe growth of the internet has been spectacular. There are now more 1.5 billion internet users across the globe, about one quarter of the world’s population. This is certainly a new phenomenon that is of enormous significance for the economic, political and social life of contemporary societies.However, much popular and academic writing about the internet takes a technologically deterministic view, assuming that the internet’s potential will be realised in essentially transformative ways. This was especially true in the euphoric moment of the mid-1990s, when many commentators wrote about the internet with awe and wonderment. While this moment may be over, its underlying technocentrism – the belief that technology determines outcomes – lingers on, and with it, a failure to understand the internet in its social, economic and political context.Misunderstanding the Internet is a short introduction, encompassing the history, sociology, politics and economics of the internet and its impact on society. The book has a simple three part structure:Part 1 looks at the history of the internet, and offers an overview of the internet’s place in societyPart 2 focuses on the control and economics of the internetPart 3 examines the internet’s political and cultural influenceMisunderstanding the Internet is a polemical, sociologically and historically informed textbook that aims to challenge both popular myths and existing academic orthodoxies around the internet....

Title : Misunderstanding the Internet
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ISBN : 9780415579582
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 208 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Misunderstanding the Internet Reviews

  • Colin
    2019-01-14 17:12

    If you need an antidote to Clayshirkyitis, this book is it! A trio of Goldsmiths academics apply academic rigour to the popular view of the internet as a panacea for all society's political, economic and cultural ills.In examining the ownership structure of the "New" media, and its influence on political movements at home and abroad, they mainly succeed in shaking the received wisdom of the twenty-first century. Prophecies are shown not to have come true, stories of "Twitter revolutions" are debunked and, generally, myth is sorted from reality. In the last chapter, having cleared the ground, they start to set out some policy aims for governments to counterbalance the effects of big business on the culture of the web. It's at this point that I have to wonder whether, really, there is enough political will and clearsightedness to achieve such a thing without stifling creativity. And to move to another talking point from the same chapter, would Vint Cerf approve of their proposed "Cerf Tax"? Reading this http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/... , it seems unlikely...But don't let my scepticism put you off. This is definitely a book more people should read. It is bang-up-to-date, engagingly written and full of insight.

  • Elizabeth
    2018-12-31 12:59

    This is a nice collection of essays that both individually and collectively do a fabulous job of putting Internet scholarship into historical context and also into context with the prevalent behaviors and actions of everyday users. I especially appreciated the volume's introduction and conclusion, which synthesize the main claims that are made about the Internet and put them in close conversation with the realities. In the conclusion, Curran et. al go a step further to suggest a number of regulations and behaviors they would like to see manifest online. Their suggestions are both smart and well-informed, a testament to the broad and objective synthesis that underlines the book as a whole.

  • Geir Ruud
    2018-12-27 09:04

    Great questions and very few answers in this academic book. The critical view of "internet gurus" and the hypearound them makes it interesting if you are in the business in one way or another.