Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication

by: Paul Messaris (0)

The age of digital media has given rise to a new social world. It is a world in which the transmission of information from the few to the many is steadily being supplanted by the multi-directional flow of facts, lies, and ideas. It is a world in which hundreds of millions of people are voluntarily depositing large amounts of personal details in publicly accessible databases. It is a world in which interpersonal relationships are increasingly being conducted in the virtual sphere. Above all, this is a world that seems to be veering off in unpredictable ways from the trends of the immediate past. This book is a probing examination of that world, and of the changes that it has ushered into our lives.

In more than thirty essays by a wide range of scholars, this must-have second edition examines the impact of digital media in six areas – information, persuasion, community, gender and sexuality, surveillance and privacy, and cross-cultural communication – and offers an invaluable guide for students and scholars alike. With one exception, all essays are completely new or revised for this volume.

The Reviews

This is a thought-provoking collection of chapters about how our lives have changed since the large-scale introduction of digital media, about a quarter of a century ago. The book is divided into six sections, dealing with different areas of media and communication: information & education; persuasion & advertising; community; gender & sexuality; communication across cultures; surveillance & privacy.Most of the chapters fall into one of two broad categories: on the one hand, general overviews of an area; on the other hand, descriptions of a specific study or situation. The overview chapters are authoritative and well-written, and include the work of several important authors – for example, Oscar Gandy on surveillance; Bireswar Laha & Jeremy Bailenson on the use of virtual reality for social change; Jennifer Stromer-Galley on the role of digital media in politics; and Keith Hampton on community in the digital age.The chapters dealing with specific topics are somewhat more varied in quality, although here too there are several very strong contributions, including Sehwan Oh, Hyunmi Baek, & JoongHo Ahn’s study of the impact of YouTube music videos on international trade; Derek Blackwell’s overview of the impact of digital media on romance and marriage; Clarissa Smith, Feona Attwood, & Martin Barker’s research on online porn; Shane Mannis’s description of the use of social media by people who are going through gender transition; and Paul Falzone’s eye-opening account of the use of digital media in the creation of a youth-oriented news program in Uganda.Overall, the book does a good job of covering a very broad area. It would be a useful as a textbook, but many of the chapters are quite readable and informative on their own as well.

Textbook for college course. It was in brand new condition as advertised which is important to a college student who dislikes reading highlighted and drawn on text. Glad I checked Amazon as well as typical textbook sites as Amazon, once again, was the better deal.

Digital Media: Transformations in Human Communication
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