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Author Biography: Carla G. Surratt is an independent research sociologist and freelance writer. She lives in Chicago.
|Ch. 1||Communications Technologies: A Chronicle of Knowledge||13|
|Ch. 2||Netropolis: The Internet as City in Virtual Society||46|
|Preface to Part II||75|
|Ch. 3||The Nation-State in the Virtual World||79|
|Ch. 4||The Corporation in the Virtual World||121|
|Ch. 5||Church, University and Family in the Virtual World||151|
|Ch. 6||The Self in the Virtual World||186|
|Ch. 7||Virtualization and Net Logic: Concluding Remarks||216|
Posted April 22, 2002
'The Internet And Social Change' which is published in 2001 is a scholarly look at the Internet's growth and its impact on society. In 1969, there were only four web hosts but growing to over 105 million hosts by the end of 2000. The World Wide Web consisted of only 130 sites in 1993 and boasted to more than one billion sites seven years later. However, despite the explosive growth, the author, Carla G. Surratt claims that little research has been done about the impact of the cyber-revolution and its social implications of computer-mediated communication (CMC). In this book, Surratt uses social science theory to evaluate the impacts and transformations currently underway. She questions how do human beings use this technology to transform the social world and whether the Internet changes our basic social institutions. According to Surratt, ¿much of what passes for knowledge about the Internet is based on opinion and impression, not on social science theory or empirical investigation¿ (p. 3). In order to remedy this deficiency, Surratt wrote this book based on two interrelated purposes¿1) examining the Internet revolution in the progression of the Industrial Revolution and urbanization consistent with the basic doctrines of modernity; and 2) offering the reader a conceptual framework (media logic) to suggest for further areas of empirical research. <p>This book consists of 2 parts, 7 chapters. Part one provides readers fundamental knowledge on the development of communication technology and an overview of the historic forces of social change. Part two takes the ¿social form¿ concept from Simmel and integrates it with ¿media logic¿ (¿Internet logic¿) to solve the problems of collective life. According to Simmel (1950), society is nothing more and nothing less than a complex web of interactions among individuals and a ¿social form¿ is best understood as a process, or framework, through which people render reality intelligible. Surratt further emphasizes that media are social institutions that operated according to a specific logic and offer a framework through which people interpret the world around them. ¿Media logic¿ therefore becomes the logic of strategy for maintaining social order.</p> <p>At this information age, the Internet serves as a fundamental tool for information, communication, and the generation of new knowledge. Admit or not, we ought to agree that the use of Internet in varying capacities is replacing face-to-face social interaction between people. Therefore, we should not only understand where did Internet come from, where is it now and where will it go in the future; but also devote ourselves in researches that can improve this communication tool. This book offers everything we need to know about Internet. However, readers should also be aware that this book is more scholarly than leisurely and the language and vocabulary used would be a bit too refined for those who are not serious in the purpose of conducting research on Internet and its social implications. I personally found that it took me more time (part of it was because I did not want to miss anything) to digest and finish this book than that of the others. Other than that, this is a great book.</p>Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.