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· Read 03/04/21

Book Reviews

  • Worst type of book review is a summary of each chapter
  • Analyze the theory and methods, see if the book does what it sets out to do
  • Fantastic if we can connect it to current conversations, but for undergrads, a direct, 1:1 engagement with the book itself is enough

Internet studies context

  • Sociology has generally been terrible around technology; this has impacted where Internet studies resides
  • *I wonder how sociology of tech (MUDs, virtual worlds, materiality, identity) interacts with Sherry Turkle's work
  • 4S (Society for Social Studies of Science): "just send in an abstract", welcoming
  • TL's graduate work: embodiment in virtual environments; inspired by sci-fi
  • Online <> offline trope: "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog"
  • Critical race theorists, feminists, queer theory researchers pioneered some of the views that there's no hard line between online and offline spaces (technolibertarian dream)

    • Some of this critical work has been forgotten
  • "You come into a new field and you just start hackin' away"
  • *I wonder what place Internet studies has in media studies/communications, STS, etc. (as opposed to vice versa)
  • Many places Internet studies lives now

    • AOIR.org
    • CITASA (now CITAMS)
    • NICA ICA (Int'l Communication Association)
    • SCMS
  • "Intellectual histories are fascinating because there are long, lingering trails"
  • TL uses "Critical Internet studies" as a way to signal something other than the wide proliferation of the Internet research that doesn't think about issues of power, stratification
  • A big part of being a working scholar is finding the communities you're interested in being in conversation with

    • *Find more HCI stuff
  • Paraphrased comment: critical x anything implies that the original x anything is not critical, "I’ve been pretty miffed to find that almost every field appears to be fundamentally uncritical"


  • Re: branding comment, how does trolling become a subculture?
  • Unpack "subcultural"

    • Subculture: The Meaning of Style by Dick Hebdige
    • Capital is really good at absorbing forms of resistance (Hot Topic punk)
  • Lulz: why so important?

    • Somewhat defensive
    • Related to online <> offline relations
    • Fetishistic
    • What do we make of the argument on its own terms?

      • Psychoanalyzing your subjects isn't great research or social science
    • Does this still work as a mode of understanding current trolling?
    • Generative
    • News photographer supposed to be dissociated


  • r/wallstreetbets: massive portfolios of loss

    • Pretty much nothing said was taken seriously; people had lost so much money they wanted to dissociate
  • Psychoanalysis is humanity, philosophy; just concerned about this specific use

    • "Weird over-extension that may have a lot of extra baggage"