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Network Society

  • By: Aubrey R. Fowler, Jie Gao & Susan L. Wortmann
  • In: Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture
  • Edited by: Dale Southerton
  • Subject:Sociology of Consumption, Consumer Psychology, Consumer Culture

The network society is an emerging societal structure where human relationships are increasingly organized around technologically assisted information “flows.” This spaceless and timeless world without boundaries has transformed elements of human identity, relationships, consumption, and work. It is also changing worldwide economies and state powers. It has created unprecedented opportunities while sharpening inequalities related to technological access. Consumer culture both modifies and is modified by the network society.

Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, e-mail and Internet chat rooms, and a host of other activities that mediate interpersonal communication by way of electronic technology are all part of the network society. In many ways, the network society is the consumer culture of many portions of the developed world. On a microlevel, routine solo shopping may turn into a technologically ...

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