Networks Without a Cause: A Critique of Social Media

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Wiley, Mar 19, 2012 - Social Science - 221 pages
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With the vast majority of Facebook users caught in a frenzy of‘friending’, ‘liking’ and‘commenting’, at what point do we pause to grasp theconsequences of our info-saturated lives? What compels us to engageso diligently with social networking systems? Networks Without aCause examines our collective obsession with identity andself-management coupled with the fragmentation and informationoverload endemic to contemporary online culture.

With a dearth of theory on the social and cultural ramifications ofhugely popular online services, Lovink provides a path-breakingcritical analysis of our over-hyped, networked world with casestudies on search engines, online video, blogging, digital radio,media activism and the Wikileaks saga. This book offers a powerfulmessage to media practitioners and theorists: let us collectivelyunleash our critical capacities to influence technology design andworkspaces, otherwise we will disappear into the cloud. Probing butnever pessimistic, Lovink draws from his long history in mediaresearch to offer a critique of the political structures andconceptual powers embedded in the technologies that shape our dailylives.

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Review: Networks Without a Cause: A Critique of Social Media

User Review  - Takahiro Kida - Goodreads

This is really a great book. It penetrates through all the hype about the internet and social media, with a historical understanding of its development. The critique is driven by a genuine passion for ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Geert Lovink is director of the Institute of Network Cultures at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, teaches in the new media program at the University of Amsterdam and is media theory professor at the European Graduate School.

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