Neil Selwyn, "What is Digital Sociology?" (Polity, 2019)


The rise of digital technology is transforming the world in which we live. Our digitalized societies demand new ways of thinking about the social, and this short book introduces readers to an approach that can deliver this: digital sociology. In What is Digital Sociology? (Polity, 2019), Neil Selwyn examines the concepts, tools and practices that sociologists are developing to analyze the intersections of the social and the digital. Blending theory and empirical examples, the five chapters highlight areas of inquiry where digital approaches are taking hold and shaping the discipline of sociology today. The book explores key topics such as digital race and digital labor, as well as the fast-changing nature of digital research methods and diversifying forms of digital scholarship. In this interview, Dr. Selwyn and I discuss the overarching question guiding this book: what is digital sociology? We go on to discuss how the classical figures in sociology wrote about, and engaged with, technology, the distinctiveness of contemporary digital sociology, key methodologies, and the research ethics related to digital sociological research. I highly recommend this book for students, professors, and anyone else interested in digital humanities, big data and computational methods, or science and technology studies. This would be a great book for both undergraduate and graduate courses related to digital media and social science. Dr. Neil Selwyn is a professor in the Faculty of Education at Monash University. His research and teaching focuses on the place of digital media in everyday life, and the sociology of technology (non)use in educational settings. Neil has written extensively on a number of issues, including digital exclusion, education technology policymaking and the student experience of technology-based learning. You can find him on Twitter @Neil_Selwyn.
Krystina Millar is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology at Indiana University. Her research interests include gender, sociology of the body, and sexuality. You can find her on Twitter at @KrystinaMillar.

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