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The Social Media Age

The Social Media Age

  • Zoetanya Sujon - London College of Communication, University of the Arts London

May 2021 | 336 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Exploring power and participation in a connected world.

Social media are all around us. For many, they are the first things to look at upon waking and the last thing to do before sleeping. Integrated seamlessly into our private and public lives, they entertain, inform, connect (and sometimes disconnect) us. 

They’re more than just social though. In addition to our experiences as everyday users, understanding social media also means asking questions about our society, our culture and our economy. What we find is dense connections between platform infrastructures and our experience of the social, shaped by power, shifting patterns of participation, and a widening ideology of connection. 

This book introduces and examines the full scope of social media. From the social to the technological, from the everyday to platform industries, from the personal to the political. It brings together the key concepts, theories and research necessary for making sense of the meanings and consequences of social media, both hopefully and critically. 

Dr Zoetanya Sujon is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director for Communications and Media at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.

Part 1: What are Social Media and Where Do They Come From?
Chapter 1: The Social Media Landscape
Chapter 2: The Historical Origins of Social Media
Chapter 3: Power and Ideology
Part 2: Sociality and Social Technologies
Chapter 4: Understanding the ‘Social’ in Social Media
Chapter 5: Material Infrastructures and Platformization
Chapter 6: Participation, Culture and Protest
Part 3: Everyday Life and Social Media
Chapter 7: Selfie and Society: Snapchat and Instagram
Chapter 8: Privacy and Dataveillance
Chapter 9: Social Screens: From YouTube to TikTok
Chapter 10: Love, Intimacy and Personal Connections

Amidst hope, hype, panic and euphoria around social media, this book clears the way – with evidence, and a compelling writing style. A must-read for students and scholars who wish to make sense of a complex and ever-changing landscape.

Dr Ranjana Das
Reader in Media and Communication, University of Surrey

More than a textbook, The Social Media Age gives us invaluable tools for thinking through the complex, elusive, but omnipresent technologies of social media. It weaves together a wide range of stories about what we do with social media and what social media does with us and positions these narratives within neatly described material and theoretical contexts in ways that both illuminate and complicate.

Kylie Jarrett
Associate Professor of Media Studies at National University of Ireland Maynooth

The Social Media Ag
e is a compelling introduction to the critical study of social media. Students will find a wealth of engagingly written case studies from #BlackLivesMatter to YouTube influencer culture to digital dating in socially conservative countries. With its global and interdisciplinary perspective, this textbook easily fits in undergraduate curricula in sociology, anthropology, and media and communications across national contexts.

Jonathan Corpus Ong
Associate Professor of Global Digital Media, University of Mssachusetts Amherst

The Social Media Age is a deeply researched, wonderfully wide-ranging and accessible examination of key contemporary and historical approaches towards understanding social media. Spanning from ideology to infrastructure, from privacy to participation and from memes to selfies, Zoetanya Sujon offers a thorough and critical introduction to how social media permeates and impacts many facets of modern social, cultural, political and economic life. The book’s clear structure and objectives, together with its discussion questions and diverse selection of in-depth case studies, lend itself perfectly for use in media and communications classrooms or as an indispensable resource book for any student seeking to better understand our complicated relationship with social media.

Patrick McCurdy
Associate Professor of Communication, University of Ottawa, Canada

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