You are here

The SAGE Handbook of Digital Society

The SAGE Handbook of Digital Society

First Edition
Edited by:

December 2022 | 672 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This SAGE Handbook brings together cutting edge social scientific research and theoretical insight into the emerging contours of digital society. Chapters explore the relationship between digitisation, social organisation and social transformation at both the macro and micro level, making this a valuable resource for postgraduate students and academics conducting research across the social sciences.

The topics covered are impressively far-ranging and timely, including machine learning, social media, surveillance, misinformation, digital labour, and beyond. This innovative Handbook perfectly captures the state of the art of a field which is rapidly gaining cross-disciplinary interest and global importance, and establishes a thematic framework for future teaching and research.

Part 1: Theorising Digital Societies

Part 2: Researching Digital Societies

Part 3: Sociotechnical Systems and Disruptive Technologies in Action

Part 4: Digital Society and New Social Dilemmas

Part 5: Governance and Regulation

Part 6: Digital Futures

PART 1: Theorising Digital Societies
William Housley, Adam Edwards, Roser Benito-Montagut and Richard Fitzgerald
Chapter 1: The Emerging Contours of Digital Society: Remastering, Reconsideration, Reorientation and New Socio-Digital Domains
Massimo Ragnedda and Glenn W. Muschert
Chapter 2: Digital stratification: Class, status group, and party in the age of the Internet
Michael R. McGuire
Chapter 3: Crime, Control, and the Ambiguous Gifts of Digital Technology
Robin Smith
Chapter 4: Digital Mobilities and Digital Society
Maria José Brites and Rita Figueiras
Chapter 5: Disconnection and Digital Society: Perspectives on how Citizens Deal with Media Technology
PART 2: Researching Digital Societies
Rob Procter
Chapter 6: Developing Tools and Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Digital Social Research
Malcolm Williams, Charlotte Brookfield, Luke Sloan
Chapter 7: Quantitative Research Methods Teaching in a Digital Age
Dennis Leeftink and Daniel Angus
Chapter 8: The Research Stack: A Framework for Data-Driven Humanities and Social Science
Alexia Maddox
Chapter 9: Ethnography and Digital Society
Harry T Dyer and Crystal Abidin
Chapter 10: Understanding Identity and Platform Cultures
Gemma San Cornelio
Chapter 11: Instagram Aesthetics for Social Change: A Narrative Approach to Visual Activism on Instagram
Joanne Meredith
Chapter 12: Researching Digital Discourse and Interaction
Phillip Brooker and Michael Mair
Chapter 13: Researching Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence
PART 3: Sociotechnical Systems and Disruptive Technologies in Action
Axel Bruns
Chapter 14: Social Media Analytics: Boom and Bust?
Larissa Hjorth and Ingrid Richardson
Chapter 15: Games and Mediated Playful Practices
Shuaishuai Wang
Chapter 16: Algorithmic Configurations of Sexuality: Theoretical Foundations and Methodological Approaches
Mike Coliandris
Chapter 17: Drones as Disruptive Sociotechnical Systems: A Case Study of Drone Crime and Control
Andrés Domínguez Hernández
Chapter 18: The Internet of Things and New Frontiers of Datafication
PART 4: Digital Society and New Social Dilemmas
Pamela M. Hong and Fabio G. Rojas
Chapter 19: Digital Racism
Charlotte Nau
Chapter 20: Social Media, Gender and Online Discrimination
Emma Bond
Chapter 21: Online Safeguarding of Adults with an Intellectual Disability: How do we Ensure that Participation and Protection Rights are Adequately Met in Digital Society?
Gwyneth Peaty, Jordan Alice and Katie Ellis
Chapter 22: Clickbait in the Commodification of Sympathy: Disability, Inspiration Porn and the Possibilities for New Narratives
Sharon Meraz
Chapter 23: Political Communication in the Digital Age
PART 5: Governance and Regulation
Rik Peeters and Marc Schuilenburg
Chapter 24: Algorithmic Governance: Technology, Knowledge, and Power
Martin Innes, David Rogers, Nora Jansen and Viorica Budu
Chapter 25: Digital (Dis)information Operations and Misinformation Campaigns
Michael Levi
Chapter 26: Frauds in Digital Society
Philip Inglesant, Helena Webb, Carolyn Ten Holter, Menisha Patel, Marina Jirotka
Chapter 27: The Responsible Innovation of Disruptive Technologies
Ben Williamson
Chapter 28: Governing through Infrastructural Control: Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing in the Data-Intensive State
Adam Edwards, William Housley, Roser Beneito-Montagut and Richard Fitzgerald
Chapter 29: Freedom of Speech and Online Harm in Liberal Democracies: a Triadic Concept
PART 6: Digital Futures
Phillip Brown, Manuel Souto-Otero and Sahara Sadik
Chapter 30: Digital Transformation and the Future of Work
Stuart Reeves and Martin Porcheron
Chapter 31: Conversational AI: Respecifying Participation as Regulation
Neil Selwyn
Chapter 32: Critical Data Futures
Steve Fuller
Chapter 33: Mediating the Message in Digital Society

Digital technologies not only catalyse processes of social change, they also call forth new ways of understanding social phenomena. Resisting the temptation to focus on digital social research methods in isolation, this timely and highly original collection demonstrates how digital societies offer a unique opportunity to remaster classic sociological questions and to reorientate the study of social life. The individual contributions cover an impressive range of topics that cross disciplinary silos, scales of analysis, methodological approaches, and theoretical traditions. Together they make for essential reading on the dynamics of social problems and the contours of contemporary society.


Professor David M. Evans, ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures, University of Bristol UK

David M. Evans
University of Bristol

William Housley

William Housley PhD, DSc.Econ. FAcSS is Professor of Sociology at Cardiff University. He is an internationally recognised expert in qualitative and social research methods, sociological theory, the study of practical reason, science and technology studies, ethnomethodology, membership categorization analysis, social interaction and digital sociology. His contribution to Sociology was confirmed through the award of a DSc Econ. by Cardiff University in 2012 for his internationally recognized work in the field of interaction, communication and social organization. He has served as an editor of Qualitative Research (SAGE) and... More About Author

Adam Edwards

Adam Edwards is Reader in Politics and Criminology at Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. He is interested in collaborative and inter-disciplinary research including work with lawyers, political scientists, computer scientists and sociologists interested in the impact of emergent technologies, such as social media and machine learning, on issues of law, governance and regulation in relation to problems of crime, security and justice. He also has a track record of research into the politics of security in European city-regions, the organisation of serious crimes and a methodological interest in deliberative forecasting.  More About Author

Roser Beneito-Montagut

Roser Beneito-Montagut is Senior Lecturer in Sociology in the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University (UK).  She is a sociologist working at the crossroads of media, communication and technology studies. Her research interests include the study of digital technologies, particularly in relation to the topics of social connectedness, later life and care infrastructures in the networked society. She has written extensively about the socio-cultural and material dimensions of ‘being’ and interacting online; emotions and affects; methodological innovations in relation to the availability of digital data; and about later life and about... More About Author

Richard Fitzgerald

Richard Fitzgerald is Professor of Communication at the University of Macau, China (SAR). Before joining the University of Macau in 2014 he has held posts at Cardiff University and the University of Queensland. He has researched and written extensively on broadcast and digital media and methods of qualitative Discourse Analysis. His recent major publications include Advances in Membership Categorization Analysis (2015, Sage) co-edited with William Housley, and On Sacks. Methodology, Materials and Inspirations (2021, Routledge) co-edited with Robin Smith and William Housley. He is a former Editor in Chief of ... More About Author

Purchasing options

Please select a format:

ISBN: 9781526498779

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.