You are here

Society Online

Society Online
The Internet in Context

Edited by:

October 2003 | 384 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
"These editors have the respect, visibility, and track-record to make this volume a contribution to the field of Internet studies. It will be adopted as an upper-division text and can also serve as a valuable reference work for doctoral students. Given its broad mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches, this work should have wide appeal across the Social Sciences and Information Studies." 

-- Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern

Within the developed world, much of society experiences political, economic, and cultural life through a set of communication technologies barely older than many citizens. Society Online: The Internet in Context examines how new media technologies have not simply diffused across society, but how they have rapidly and deeply become embedded in our organizations and institutions.

Society Online is not exclusively devoted to a particular technology, or specifically the Internet, but to a range of technologies and technological possibilities labeled "new media." Rather than trying to cover every possible topic relating to new communication technologies, this unique text is organized by how these new technologies mediate the community, political, economic, personal, and global spheres of our social lives. Editors Philip N. Howard and Steve Jones explore the multiple research methods that are required to understand the embeddedness of new media.

Society Online discusses the findings of the Pew Internet and American Life Project and is the first book to bring together leading social scientists to provide the most comprehensive and far-reaching Internet research data sets and to contextualize Internet use in modern life. The book features contributions by leading scholars from across the social sciences using a range of research techniques including systematic content analysis; comparative methods; quasi-experimental methods; probit; ordinary least squares and logistic regression analysis; small focus groups; historical, archival, and survey methods; ethnographic and auto-ethnographic work; and comparative analyses of policy traditions to probe, analyze, and understand the Internet in the context of everyday life.

Society Online is designed for undergraduate and graduate students taking media studies courses in the areas of Communication, Sociology, Political Science, Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Information Sciences, and American Studies.

For more information about Society Online, please visit

Howard "Lee" Rainie
James Witte
Prologue. The Case for Multi-Method Research: Large Sample Design & The Study of Life Online
Philip N. Howard and Steve Jones
Chapter 1: Introduction. Embedded Media: Who We Know, What We Know, and Society Online
Pippa Norris
Chapter 2: The Bridging and Bonding Role of Online Communities
Elena Larsen
Chapter 3: Deeper Understanding, Deeper Ties: Taking Faith Online
Leslie Regan Shade
Chapter 4: Bending Gender into the Net: Feminizing Content, Corporate Interests, and Research Strategy
Lisa Nakamura
Chapter 5: Interrogating the Digital Divide: The Political Economy of Race and Commerce in New Media
Jennifer Stromer-Galley
Chapter 6: Will Internet Voting Increase Turnout? An Analysis of Voter Preference
Ronald E. Rice and James E. Katz
Chapter 7: The Internet and Political Involvement in 1996 and 2000
Carin Dessauer
Chapter 8: New Media, Internet News, and the News Habit
Steven M. Schneider and Kirsten A. Foot
Chapter 9: Crisis Communication and New Media: The Web After September 11
David Silver and Philip Garland
Chapter 10: 'sHoP onLiNE!': Advertising Female Teen Cyberculture
Gina Neff and David Stark
Chapter 11: Permanently Beta: Responsive Organization in the Internet Era
Nalini P. Kotamraju
Chapter 12: Art Versus Code: The Gendered Evolution of Web Design Skills
Wendy Griswold and Nathan Wright
Chapter 13: Wired and Well-Read
Richard A. Peterson and John Ryan
Chapter 14: The Disembodied Muse: Music in the Internet Age
John P. Robinson, Alan Neustadtl, and Meyer Kestnbaum
Chapter 15: Technology & Tolerance: Public Opinion Differences Among Internet Users and Nonusers
Eszter Hargittai
Chapter 16: Informed Web Surfing: The Social Context of User Sophistication
Doreen Starke-Meyerring, Dan L. Burk, and Laura J. Gurak
Chapter 17: U.S. American Internet Users and Privacy: A Safe Harbor of Their Own?
Saskia Sassen
Chapter 18: Sited Materials with a Global Span
William Sims Bainbridge
Chapter 19: The Future of Internet: Cultural and Individual Conceptions
Steve Jones
Chapter 20: Conclusion: Contexting the Network

“These editors have the respect, visibility, and track-record to make this volume a contribution to the field of Internet studies.  It will be adopted as an upper-division text and can also serve as a valuable reference work for doctoral students.  Given its broad mix of qualitative and quantitative approaches, this work should have wide appeal across the Social Sciences and Information Studies.”  

Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach
Annenburg School of Communication, University of Southern California

"Society Online is an ambitious collection of articles, delivering the next generation of careful but eloquent studies of Internet use and culture. Both accessible and varied treatments, rich array of methodological approaches, intriguing data and provocative thought frameworks await the reader who would be curious to see if the internet context is already converging on some stability or still oscillating in search of its impacts and identity."

Sheizaf Rafaeli
University of Haifa

"This is perhaps one of the most rigorously researched collections about online interactions and culture. The essays, based on a major initiative by the Pew Foundation, integrate data from other projects, such as the General Social Survey... The book is atheoretical, engaging little of technology studies, whether social construction of technology, actor-network theory, or others."

J.L. Croissant
University of Arizona

Not applicable for our coursework.

Mr Michael Throop
Journalism and Mass Communications, Benedictine College
January 23, 2013
Key features
  • Reputation of the project: The Pew Internet and American Life Project is widely known, and a text, rather than a research report, from its findings will be very attractive to professors.
  • Reputation of Steve Jones: Steve is very high profile in Internet and new media research within the industry and well as academia. His work is regarded as consistently high quality.
  • Excellent fit with Sage's list. This title will market well with our other titles in new media, including Livingston/Lievrouw, Handbook of New Media, Shyles, and Moschovitis/Jones, Encyclopedia of New Media.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.