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Social Consequences of Internet Use: Access, Involvement, and Interaction [Kindle Edition]

James E. Katz
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Drawing on nationally representative telephone surveys conducted from 1995 to 2000,
James Katz and Ronald Rice offer a rich and nuanced picture of Internet use in America. Using
quantitative data, as well as case studies of Web sites, they explore the impact of the Internet on
society from three perspectives: access to Internet technology (the digital divide), involvement
with groups and communities through the Internet (social capital), and use of the Internet for
social interaction and expression (identity). To provide a more comprehensive account of Internet
use, the authors draw comparisons across media and include Internet nonusers and former users in
their research.The authors call their research the Syntopia Project to convey the Internet's role as
one among a host of communication technologies as well as the synergy between people's online
activities and their real-world lives. Their major finding is that Americans use the Internet as an
extension and enhancement of their daily routines. Contrary to media sensationalism, the Internet is
neither a utopia, liberating people to form a global egalitarian community, nor a dystopia-producing
armies of disembodied, lonely individuals. Like any form of communication, it is as helpful or
harmful as those who use it.


Editorial Reviews

Review

"Joe Turow and Andrea Kavanaugh have brought together the Dream Team of Internet analysts and they have filed compelling and often startling dispatches from the frontier where people are using new technologies. The wired homestead is a place where families are changing the way they live and relate, and *The Wired Homestead* is an authoritative account of how that's happening and why."--Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet and American Life Project



"Jim Katz and Ron Rice were doing Internet research way before it was cool and they have produced the kind of book that you'd expect from pioneers: It's brave and panoramic. It also has something for everyone: fresh research for data wonks, references to delightful and pathbreaking Web sites, and conclusions about the impact of the Internet that are fair-minded and far-reaching. Use of the Internet matters to more and more people and that's why this book matters a lot."--Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Internet and American Life ProjectPlease note: Endorser gives permission to excerpt from quote.



"*Shaping the Network Society* documents and analyzes the emergence of civil society in cyberspace. Based on contributions by some of the best experts in the world, it is essential reading for students and practitioners of the new forms of democracy in the Information Age."--Manuel Castells, Wallis Annenberg Chair of Communication Technology and Society, University of Southern California

About the Author

James E. Katz is Chair of the Department of Communication at Rutgers University and director of the Center for Mobile Communication Studies. He is the author of Magic in the Air: Mobile Communication and the Transformation of Social Life and coauthor of Social Consequences of Internet Use (MIT Press, 2002).

Ronald E. Rice is Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication in the School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies, Rutgers University.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3279 KB
  • Print Length: 486 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (September 9, 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003TEF9CI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,595 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars review of social consequences... October 26, 2003
Format:Hardcover
Katz and Rice present an arguement for their belief that the growth of the internet should be seen as a syntopian revolution, meaning that the consequences of the new technology are neither completely beneficial (utopian) or completely distructive (dystopian) but instead the technology is part of a larger sphere that helps and often enables more positive forms of communication and involvement. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the internet that could either hinder or help the socialization of the internet, such as digital awareness (the digital divide), the effects of increased internet use on the amount of time spent in community involvement, and the political benefits and detractors of a completely wireless world.
I thought Katz and Rice presented a well developed thesis that counteracted the opposing views well when taken at face value. They analyzed the confounding variables in the research which adds validity to their position, and they used simple logic that appeals to even the guy who has never seen a computer. But I also detected a bit of bias in their research and their presentation of their arguement. This book must be read carefully and the information presented must not be adopted unless critically analyzed. Many of the statistics were based on correlational studies that can not show cause. The statistics are also somewhat out of date despite the fact that the last survey took place just three years ago. With such an innovative topic as technology current data is crucial to the support of an arguement.
I would not recommend this book to a person who is not familiar with statistical studies because much of the argument is based around statistical surveys, and the information can be hard to swallow if you dont know what standard deviation means.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A positive spin for Internet use October 27, 2003
Format:Hardcover
What happens as more Americans become connected to the Internet and begin to spend an increasing amount of time on the Net? What kind of experience do people encounter on the Net? These are just a few of topics discussed in Katz's and Rice's book Social Consequences of Internet Use. In their book they look at the impact of the Internet on American society in three areas: access to internet technology; civic and community involvement, and social interaction and expression through the Internet. They draw a large part of their data from a series of multiyear national random telephone surveys that looked at the social aspects of Americans' Internet behavior. The survey was first conducted in 1995 and since then has been performed in 1996, 1997, and 2000. They claim their survey was the first to use a national random telephone survey to look at the social consequences of the Internet. Together with their own survey data, the authors also use case studies, reports and other national data surveys, including the Pew Internet and American Life Project to support their assertions. Their research and book however does not cover current Internet related issues like e-commerce and privacy of personal information on the Net.
The authors maintain their motivation in writing the book "is to respond to arguments that the Internet is harmful or that it is a revolutionary liberating force." They conclude that the Internet is neither all bad "dystopian view" nor all good "utopian view" but instead the Internet is syntopia, which is a mix of both the dystopian and utopian view of the Internet.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars A positive spin for Internet use October 27, 2003
Format:Hardcover
What happens as more Americans become connected to the Internet and begin to spend an increasing amount of time on the Net? What kind of experience do people encounter on the Net? These are just a few of topics discussed in Katz's and Rice's book Social Consequences of Internet Use. In their book they look at the impact of the Internet on American society in three areas: access to internet technology; civic and community involvement, and social interaction and expression through the Internet. They draw a large part of their data from a series of multiyear national random telephone surveys that looked at the social aspects of Americans' Internet behavior. The survey was first conducted in 1995 and since then has been performed in 1996, 1997, and 2000. They claim their survey was the first to use a national random telephone survey to look at the social consequences of the Internet. Together with their own survey data, the authors also use case studies, reports and other national data surveys, including the Pew Internet and American Life Project to support their assertions. Their research and book however does not cover current Internet related issues like e-commerce and privacy of personal information on the Net.
The authors maintain their motivation in writing the book "is to respond to arguments that the Internet is harmful or that it is a revolutionary liberating force." They conclude that the Internet is neither all bad "dystopian view" nor all good "utopian view" but instead the Internet is syntopia, which is a mix of both the dystopian and utopian view of the Internet.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opener?
Comments on this book are that the figures are visualizing whatever the author's wish.

While this book breaks the ice, it is for the scholars, academics to update /... Read more
Published on December 23, 2004 by Dr. Mohamed Taher
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much information
This book contains an immense amount of information, however it is presented in such a way that it is not condusive to knowledge. Read more
Published on April 4, 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars An Attempt to Distill Order from Chaos
The main focus of this book is to examine the body of data currently available on the Internet, and determine the effects of this new medium. Read more
Published on October 27, 2003 by Sean Jordan
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful
Katz and Rice's Social Consequences of Internet Use examines the impact of the Internet on today's society through analysis of nationally representative telephone surveys and case... Read more
Published on October 27, 2003 by Sarah McCurry
2.0 out of 5 stars Social Consequences of ZZZZZZZZ........
Katz and Rice present us with a book defining the internet as neither utopian nor dystopian, but "syntopian", asserting the internet "can foster both virtue and... Read more
Published on October 27, 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars skipping towards syntopia
"We have emphasized the positive aspects of the Internet to balance the intensely negative scholarly and journalistic criticisms of how the Internet is affecting U.S. Read more
Published on October 27, 2003 by B. Michael Shoup
4.0 out of 5 stars Living in a Syntopian Paradise
A very insigtful discourse on the impact of the internet from the perspective of a social scientist. Read more
Published on October 27, 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Good information when you spend the time to grasp it
Katz and Rice do an excellent job tackling a new and complex issue that most writers and researchers have not even thought to think about. Read more
Published on October 27, 2003 by Holly Coneway
4.0 out of 5 stars Exhausting yet Informative
As the title suggests, Katz and Rice's Social Consequences of Internet Use examines the social ramifications resulting from the profusion of internet usage in the past decade. Read more
Published on October 26, 2003 by Logan Wiedenfeld
4.0 out of 5 stars A Happy Medium
Katz and Rice employed massive amounts of data from Pew Internet and the like to solidify their view concerning the changes on society enacted by the Internet. Read more
Published on October 26, 2003 by Cassie A. Dieterich
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