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The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media Paperback – 1 Jan 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (1 Jan 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199970785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199970780
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 2 x 15.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


"The Culture of Connectivity perhaps stands out most for the ways it attends to microhistorical changes that are often difficult to track given our increasing embeddedness in social media networks and their frequent multilevel updates." --Critical Inquiry"An invaluable guide to today's fast morphing social media ecosystem. Van Dijck cuts through the blur of online search, sociability, entertainment and commerce to reveal the underlying historical, cultural and economic dynamics that shape our expectations and underpin our vulnerabilities." --William Uricchio, Professor & Director, MIT Comparative Media Studies"Unlike so many other contributions, Jose van Dijck's superb book treats the 'social' in social media with the seriousness it deserves. It's critical, intelligent, clearly written and remarkably comprehensive. I'm going to force everyone I know who's interested in digital media to read it." --David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds"Jose van Dijck's The Culture of Connectivity provides us with a balanced and thought-provoking account of the role of social media in shaping human interaction and sociality. She offers a multi-layered model for thinking critically about social media. The particular strength of this work is that it illuminates many of the current debates concerning digital culture through a much-needed critical history that contextualises the rise of social media. This timely and important book is a must read for anyone interested in digital culture." --John Banks, Senior Lecturer, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology"Jose van Dijck's Culture of Connectivity is a rich and much-needed critical history of the online platforms that, in hardly more than a decade, have become household names, such as Facebook. Essential reading if we are to comprehend the intricately intertwined political-economic and technological designs behind the meteoric rise of so-called 'social media'." --Ien Ang, Institut

About the Author

José van Dijck is a professor of Comparative Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam, where she also served as the Dean of Humanities. She has a PhD from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and previously taught at the Universities of Groningen and Maastricht. Her work covers a wide range of topics in media theory, media technologies, social media, television and culture. She is the author of five books, three co-edited volumes and many journal articles.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Highly competent and coherent analysis of contemporary social media, the ways in which it affects and augments offline society, and the events and technologies that brought us to this point.

As with all texts on this subject, however, I expect half of it to be out of date within a couple of years; some of it already is.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Excellent and much needed analysis of social media 24 Jun 2013
By R. I. Berkman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I have been teaching Social Media online for the MA media studies program for several years at The New School in New York City and had never found a completely satisfactory book that provided a theoretical and historical grounding for social media until I came across this one. It is a thorough, well written, scholarly yet still very accessible description and analysis of the media, communication and sociological foundations from which the current social media phenomenon has emerged. I learned a lot too from the author, and it was an enjoyable read as well.

I plan on using it as a required text for all the future classes I teach in social media.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Stephanie's Review! 1 May 2014
By Stephanie - Published on
Format: Paperback
I thought that this book had a lot of valuable information about different social media platforms and their privacy policies, however at times I thought it was not a very engaging read. It was great for detailed information in terms of breaking down each media platform and taking a look into their business models, technology, ownership, users and governance. I also thought that it was good if you are interested in the history of technology and social media. It not only gives you the background of social media and how it started, but somewhat of technology itself. She talks about the development of the World Wide Web by Tim Burners Lee, which is crucial for the start of social media. It takes a deep look into how each platform operates and how they will continue to progress forward with this push of social media. It talks about how social media is what we will all be using in the future and its important as marketers and PR people to get rid of the digital divide that we still have going on. We want everyone to be able to understand social media and how it works because that is our future. We will be doing most things online and through connectivity.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Liz Thomas' Review 22 April 2014
By Liz Thomas - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, I thought the book had a lot of valuable information to understand where social media is going into our society. However, I thought that at times the historical parts of the books were a little dry. I enjoyed that they explored more than one type of social media and gave detail about it. Even though the book was published two years ago I would say that it's fairly current however social media behavior is changing and there are different platforms to be explored. I would be interested to know how the author would compare the platforms now since we have Vine, Pinterest, and Instagram. I think that if someone was interested to understand how social media was integrated into our society and how it became a part of our culture. Privacy is a hard thing to come by if you have social media because of the abundance of information that is on a 'Profile'.

This book was extremely helpful for myself in understanding the different social media platforms and how they work in our culture not just for personal use but as a business model as well. I'm taking a Social Journalism class this semester and this book includes a lot of information that we talk about in the class. Where are the platforms going? How will they evolve?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Kayla McCarson's Review 24 April 2014
By Christine McCarson - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a journalism student and this book was a great way to finish my last semester in an interesting read, giving my brain a break from the technical and hands-on knowledge and letting myself, at times, get lost in the way our culture can forget how "social" media all began. This book gives details and in-depth overview about the history of social media that Journalism 101 classes can only touch on in a short period of time. Journalism classes today are trying to keep up with the technology and focus their classes on new media however, Jose Van Dijck's "The Culture of Connectivity: A Critical History of Social Media," takes readers back to Napster, and back to when it all began with Web 2.0, what is referred in the book as vital time for making connections on the internet.

Van Dijck makes her book relevant by showing her readers that social connectivity thrives on 5 platforms: ownership, technology, governance, business model, user/ usage, and content. In each chapter the reader learns how various media works in these platforms and why our culture is not taking notice of important changes such as privacy matters. Read this book if you want a philosophical look into what users of media today would knock-off as being a non-philosophical topic, however, they may realize it may only appear this way because it's changed a culture and isn't slowing down yet.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Monetization of all in social networks 22 Mar 2014
By Pedro Demo - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fantastic book from a Dutch Author, with a enormous talent for critical theory, in the good European tradition. We are losing the battle against corporate assault on social networks - the web is no more what it was and pretended to be, a public sphere for common goods. More and more it is business.
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