This week we continue our investigation into the world of online politics by talking with Mary Joyce about digital activism. We discuss what qualifies as digital activism, the value of research that focuses on the big picture, and the relationship between these new technologies and more traditional forms of social organizing.
This week we talk with Gabriella Coleman about her current research on Anonymous and her recently published book, Coding Freedom: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Hacking, which you can download for free under a Creative Commons license. We discuss the rise of Anonymous, how to research a web-based collective whose members hide their identity, the art of “trolling”, and the political significance of the group.
The Society Pages’ Community Page Cyborgology has also written a review of Coding Freedom, which can be read here.
In this episode we talk with Michael Schudson, author of The Sociology of News, recently released in its second edition. Schudson is the author of seven books and co-editor of three others concerning the history and sociology of the American news media, advertising, popular culture, Watergate and cultural memory. We discuss the changing nature of journalism, the effect of emerging technology on traditional news practices, and his new research on transparency as American value and policy.
In this epsiode, we talk with Neal Caren and Sarah Gaby about their research on the Occupy Movement’s presence on social networking sites. Topics include the methodological promises and challenges of studying popular sites like Facebook as well as the potential of online social networking for fostering social change. This conversation was part of a Roundtable discussion on The Society Pages on social scientists studying social movements.
This episode we talk with Eszter Hargittai, from the Communication Studies department at Northwestern University. Popular myth has it that the youth of today are calm, competent masters of the internet, but Hargittai’s research points to significant gaps and inequalities in the level of internet skills possesed by so-called digital natives. What skills are lacking, why does this matter, and what should we do about it?
This episode, we talk with Keith Hampton about his research on wireless internet and public spaces. Does public wifi encourage a stronger public sphere or diminish public life by encouraging everyone to live inside their own private digital bubble? Hampton argues it’s more complicated than that, and public WiFi can, in fact, encourage many different kinds of social interaction, both online and offline.
This episode: Pepper Schwartz on baby boomers and sex, her contribution to the dating site PerfectMatch.com, and her views on doing relevant research. (Thanks to Tim Ortyl and Kia Heise for conducting the interview. An edited version appears in the Summer 2010 issue of Contexts.)
Elizabeth Wissinger, author of the Spring 2010 Contexts Culture Review, The Top Model Life, tells us how the modeling world fits into the sociological world through marxism, beauty, technology and the commodification of culture.