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New Open Access Book: Social Theory After the Internet

13 January 2018

Social Theory After the Internet Cover

We are excited to announce the publication of our first book of 2018: Social Theory after the Internet by Ralph Schroeder of the Oxford Internet Institute.

The internet has fundamentally transformed society in the past 25 years, yet existing theories of mass or interpersonal communication do not work well in understanding a digital world. Nor has this understanding been helped by disciplinary specialization and a continual focus on the latest innovations. Ralph Schroeder takes a longer-term view, synthesizing perspectives and findings from various social science disciplines in four countries: the United States, Sweden, India and China. His comparison highlights, among other observations, that smartphones are in many respects more important than PC-based internet uses.

Social Theory after the Internet focuses on everyday uses and effects of the internet, including information seeking and big data, and explains how the internet has gone beyond traditional media in, for example, enabling Donald Trump and Narendra Modi to come to power. Schroeder puts forward a sophisticated theory of the role internet plays, and how both technological and social forces shape its significance. He provides a sweeping and penetrating study, theoretically ambitious and at the same time always empirically grounded.