This book considers the lessons learnt so far from the emergence of the Internet and the development of the field of Internet studies, whilst also considering possible directions for the future. Examining broad media theories and emerging theorisations around the Internet specifically, it explores the possibility of the development of an Internet theory in the future. A comprehensive overview of the field, Internet Studies considers key issues of social importance that the study of the Internet draws upon, such as the role of the Internet in civic participation and democratisation, the development of virtual communities, digital divides and social inequality, as well as Internet governance and policy control. At the same time, it examines the role of the Internet in social research and the development of highly interdisciplinary and rapidly developing Internet research. Hence, this volume maps key areas of certainty and uncertainty in the field of Internet studies and, as such, it will be of interest to scholars and students of media and communication, sociology and social research methods.
Panayiota Tsatsou is Senior Lecturer in Media and Communication at the University of Leicester, UK, and author of Digital Divides Today.
Contents: Introduction: moving from mass media to Internet studies?; Writing the histories of the Internet and of its study: certainties and enigmas; Theorising the Internet: crafting an Internet theory; Studying the role of the Internet in a real-life context: opportunities versus risks; Research and the Internet: fast-growing Internet research; Conclusion: the unexpected future of the Internet and its study. Bibliography; Index.