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Society in the Digital Age

Society in the Digital Age
An Interactionist Perspective

September 2021 | 112 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
In Digital Society: An Interactionist Perspective, William Housley explores the ways interactionist thinking contributes to our understanding of current trends and topics within digital sociology.

Drawing on a range of aligned approaches, concepts and empirical studies, he explores how notions of self and presentation, action and agency, practical reason and interaction are of fundamental importance to our understanding of some of the emerging contours of digital society; inclusive of big data, social media, the social life of methods, algorithmic culture, ‘artificial intelligence’ and the pivot to voice. In doing so, Housley aims to demonstrate the enduring relevance of work associated with Goffman, Garfinkel and Sacks in understanding everyday digital social life.

The book provides a range of insights into how sociology and social science continues to draw upon interactionism and aligned traditions such as ethnomethodology in making sense of the Interaction Order 2.0 and beyond.

1. Introduction: We are Still Interactionists
2. Digital Society and Disruptive Technologies
3. Digital Society and Interaction
4. Digital Society, Ethnomethodology and Social Organisation
5. Digital Society and Mundane Civic Culture-in-Action
6. Digital Society and the Pivot to Voice
7. Conclusion: Reflections and Interactionist Futures

Professor Housley’s book demonstrates the power of interactionist theory, methods, and studies for the analysis of society in the digital age, and shows how digitally infused social changes are embedded within the organisation of social and societal processes.

Dirk vom Lehn
Professor of Organisation and Practice; King’s College London/King’s Business School

 Housley’s brilliantly engaging book shows that an interactionist perspective on society in the digital age is precisely what is needed to inform debates - within a range of disciplines - about automation, big data, social media platforms, and their implications for communication and the interactional construction of the social world. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in better identifying the most important questions for the future of civic society in ways that give us any hope of answering them.

Dr Saul Albert
Lecturer in Social Science (Social Psychology), Loughborough University

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