Superconnected is a unique text. At least, it’s not like any I’ve ever run across. It’s more like a gallery or collection of foundational ideas and research that will help students interested in the study of the internet, digital tech and society get started. It has attracted attention and positive reviews from general readers as well. It’s comprehensive and accessible, and I’m told it neither “talks down” to readers nor mires them in jargon. (See “Reviews” for more on what people are saying about the book.)
Its second edition was necessitated by the sheer speed with which research into the internet, social media, digital technology and their impacts is now moving! Researchers in so many disciplines are now exploring what it means to live in a technology-intensive society. I wanted to include as much of this new research as possible, update the book’s statistics, and write about some new topics like “the human-machine connection.”
My intent is for the book has always been to broadly share in as accessible a way as possible some key ideas and findings related to living in the digital era. I also hoped that it would take a huge chunk of the planning and basic information-gathering out of the job of teaching courses like Technology and Society, Social Media, Digital Media and Culture, etc. It would also be a fine accompaniment to courses like Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Media Studies, or Self and Society, providing a host of digital examples to illustrate more general ideas.
Toward that end, I also created a complete set of lecture slides and drafted an extensive list of discussion questions to further assist with classroom implementation of these numerous, sometimes rather complex, topics.
My works always crosses disciplines, as I think that it doesn’t matter in which discipline good work is being done — it should be made available to those who would benefit from it. I enjoy synthesizing ideas from different disciplines and perspectives and bringing them into “conversation” with one another. This book should find interested readers, then, in fields including but not limited to sociology, communication, psychology, media studies, information science, technology studies, and other similar fields and sub-fields.
Books on technology tend to become somewhat dated as soon as they are published. While I’ve worked hard to craft a narrative that will outlast the individual research findings that illustrate its larger ideas, some instructors using the text may want to supplement it with updated articles, blog posts, and other books on these topics.
Textbooks generally aren’t my thing. So I decided that the ultimate challenge would be to write one that I’d like to read and that people like me can learn from. Even if they’re not usually your thing, either…I hope you’ll give this one a try.
To order a review copy of Superconnected for possible course adoption, click here
To listen to me discuss the book on the digital New Books Network, click here