Introducing Digital Culture Studies
Digital culture studies, cyberculture studies, new media studies -- these and a number of other names have been proffered to label the academic field (or fields) that studies the social impact of computers, the Internet, video games and related manifestations of digital culture.
This entire website is designed to introduce the field, but below are a few links and readings that provide good starting points for those just beginning to study this field. One of the difficulties in getting a grasp of this relatively young (two decades old) academic arena is that it is highly transdisciplinary, drawing upon a host of other fields, including American studies, communication, ethnic studies, literature and rhetoric, sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, women's studies, legal studies, and cultural studies, among others.
While the fluidity and lack of clear boundaries to the field may seem daunting or confusing, such openness and flexibility also make it an exciting, innovative terrain, one that is studying a vital area of current cultural concern.
Introductory Books and Articles
Consalvo, Mia and Robert Burnett, eds. The Handbook of Internet Studies. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Especially good on research methods. A very pricey volume best accessed via library.
Creeber, Glen, and Royston Martin. Digital Culture: Understanding New Media. Open University Press, 2008.
Gere, Charlie. Digital Culture. Chicago: Reaktion, 2008.
Kellner, Douglas. Cyberculture and Society. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. Handles the ideological dimensions of cybercultures well.
Lister, Martin, and Jon Dovey. New Media: A Critical Introduction. Routledge, 2010 (2nd edition). Very comprehensive survey.
Miller, V. "Understanding Digital Culture-- Introduction." Draft intro to a book cited just below.
---. Understanding Digital Culture. Sage, 2011. Introduces both major theoretical approaches and key empirical case studies.
Nayar, Pramod K. Introduction to Cyberculture Studies. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Deals especially well with issues of materiality, race, class and gender.
Nayar, Pramod K. ed. The New Media and Cybercultures Anthology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Wide ranging collection of strong essays.
Silver, David. "Introducing Cyberculture: Looking Backwards, Looking Forward, 1990-2000." Analyzes three stages in the early evolution of cyberculture studies in its first decade.
---. "Introduction: Where is Internet Studies?" This intro to the anthology cited just below offers a useful survey of the field up to 2008.
Silver, David. ed. Critical Cyberculture Studies. New York University Press, 2006. Excellent, varied collection of essays exemplifying the range of methods used to analyze cybercultures.