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Understanding New Media

Understanding New Media

288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

New media are everywhere, yet with so many technological developments and theoretical perspectives understanding them has never been more difficult. This textbook explains the key concepts and approaches to the impact of new media on the economy, society, identity, politics, friendship, citizenship and everyday life. Putting the student first, this book:

  • Engages the reader with integrated, up-to-date case studies
  • Brings it all together with chapter summary charts
  • Challenges students to apply concepts with e-tivities
  • Provides key further online readings at

This is both starting point and map for any student of new media.

Chapter 1: Understanding New Media
Introduction - Why Study the New Media?
Why New Media?
Digital Media

Online Media

New Media

Technologies, Media and Society




Chapter 2: Globalization and the New Media
Theories of Globalization
World-Systems and Globalization

Global Culture

Global Society

Globalization and the Network Society

Capitalism and Globalization: Informational Capitalism

Chapter 3: (Political) Economy and New Media
Production and Consumption in Informational Capitalism
Production and Employment in Informational Capitalism

Critical Approaches: Virtual Class and Immaterial Labour

Informational products and consumption

The Political Economy of New Media
New Media Production

New Media Contents

Using New Media
Chapter 4: Consumption and Digital Divides
The Global Internet
Users and Divides
What is the Digital Divide?

Age and New Media Use

Gender and New Media Use

Race/Ethnicity and New Media Use

Chapter 5: Politics and Citizenship
Politicians and New Media: Politics as Usual?
The Normalization Thesis

Political Activism and New Media
Net native activism

Social movements and the internet

Web 2.0 and Politics
Blogs as Political Journalism

Blogs Public Opinion and Political Action

Blogging and Political Subjectivities

Chapter 6: Security, Surveillance and Safety
Society: Surveillance and Control
Panopticon and Synopticon

Surveillance and the expropriation of information

Politics: Cyber-conflict, Terrorism and Security
Hacking and/in War and Conflict

New Media as Communication Tools in War and Conflict

Economics: Fraud and Deception
The 419 Scam

Phishing and Spoofing

Risk, Trust and Security: More Surveillance?

Culture: Online Porn
New Media and Sexual Aggression

Responses: Surveillance Once Again

Chapter 7: New Media and Journalism
The Crisis of Journalism
Time and Journalism

Journalism and the Market

Journalistic Autonomy

Cultural Shifts

The Internet and Journalism

Changes in Journalism
Media Organizations: Convergence, Multi-skilling

Contents: Techological Affordances and Contents, News Narratives

Consumption/Use of Online News: Producers

Chapter 8: Mobile Media and Everyday Life
Mapping Mobile Media
Mobile Phone

MP3 Player

Wireless Internet

Mobile Media: Politics and Society
Mobile Politics

Mobile Society and Culture

Chapter 9: New Media and Identity
Identity, the Self and the New Media
Conceptualizing Identity and New Media

Technologies of the self: blogging

Gender Identities and New Media
Theories of Gender and Technology

Gendered Technologies

Ethnic and Religious Identities in the New Media World
Theorizing Ethnicity and Religion in the Network Society

Race/Ethnicity Online

Chapter 10: Socialities and Social Media
Society and Community in the Age of the New Media
Loss of Community?

Networks and Sociality
New Media Affordances and Changes in Sociality

Networked Individualism

Networked Individualism: An Evaluation

Social Media and Sociality
Social Media Definitions and Characteristics

Research in Social Media

Chapter 11: Games and Gaming
The Political Economy of Games
Games Industry: Size and Income

Development, Production and Informationalized Labour

Games: Contents, Narratives and Semiotic Power

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down - Exploring Games Narratives

The Architecture and Structure of Games

Gamers: Practices and Communities
Games and Violence

Games and Participatory Culture: Collaboration and Co-optation

Chapter 12: The Future of the New Media
The Story So Far: Emerging Trends
Theories of the New Media

New Media and the Economy

Globalization and New Media Diffusion


Surveillance and Security


Mobile Media

Identity and Sociality

Games and Gaming

Thinking of the Future
Technological Innovation

Semantic Web

The Social Life of Innovations

New Media Governance
Models of Governance


Eugenia Siapera's Understanding New Media offers an admirably clear-sighted and engaging analysis of contemporary forms of mediation, illuminating the dynamics of new media across social, political and cultural spheres while skilfully avoiding the many traps that abound in this field - of hyperbole, obfuscation, partiality and lack of empirical grounding. She provokes her reader to think afresh about familiar phenomena, to synthesise diverse theoretical positions, and to stretch their imaginations to anticipate what is coming
Professor Sonia Livingstone
Department of Media and Communication, London School of Economics and Political Science

An excellent introduction to the past, present and future of the electronic, networked media world. By carefully examining the complex interactions between society and media, Siapera insightfully illuminates the social, political, economic and cultural consequences of our increasingly electronically networked and mediated world. This book will be a highly useful teaching tool and an engaging read for students, teachers and scholars
Steve JonesUniversity of Illinois, Chicago

A good book, and I will recommend it to students writing projects on new media.

Dr Kjetil Rødje
Media, Cognition & Communication Dept, University of Copenhagen
August 24, 2015

Good review of key topics and major theorethical frameworks on new media.

Dr Jorge Vieira
Escola de Sociologia e Políticas Públicas, ISCTE-IUL
July 28, 2014

The book is relevant for the Social Media class that I teach since it provides insightful background knowledge to the understanding of new media, particularly an overview of different theoretical perspectives on new media.

Dr Annette Agerdal-Hjermind
Department of Business Communication, Aarhus University
February 27, 2014

A useful textbook with clearly structured and presented ideas that enable students to think about the development of new media and its place within society, culture, politics and the economy.

Ms Lesley Albon
Department of Media, Chester University
February 21, 2014

Wonderful and holistic introduction to new media studies.

Ms Sandra Pitcher
Media and Cultural Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal
October 29, 2013

offers a very good overview about the broad topic on a thorough theoretical level also including some criticial thoughts that most texts fail to mention

Dr Anne Linke
Inst for Comm. and Media Studies, University of Leipzig
October 21, 2013

This book was well written in that it makes clear areas of research which students are known to find complicated. It breaks research methods into digestable sizes and in text which is easy to understand. I also enjoyed the lay out of the book.

Miss Angela Rainey
School of Arts and Media, University of Teesside
February 14, 2013

This is a very important book on new media which contains relevant discussions on theory and case studies. My Communication as a social force course covers more topics so the book can be a useful supplement source in the future.

Dr Ahmed Al-Rawi
Department of Media and Culture, Erasmus University Rotterdam
January 10, 2013

Not adopted in this course, which have become overloaded. Understanding New Media is though good for other courses like the international course Analyzing Digital Journalism and also for teaching at Bahir Dar University in Ethiopia in our teacher exchange project.

Dr Titti Forsslund
School of Social Sciences, Linnaeus University
November 7, 2012

Eugenia Siapera