• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Within the developed world, much of society experiences political, economic, and cultural life through a set of communication technologies barely older than many citizens. Society Online: The Internet in Context examines how new media technologies have not simply diffused across society, but how they have rapidly and deeply become embedded in our organizations and institutions. Society Online is not exclusively devoted to a particular technology, or specifically the Internet, but to a range of technologies and technological possibilities labeled "new media." Rather than trying to cover every possible topic relating to new communication technologies, this unique text is organized by how these new technologies mediate the community, political, economic, personal, and global spheres of our social lives. Editors Philip N. Howard and Steve Jones explore ...

Informed Web Surfing: The Social Context of User Sophistication
Informed web surfing: The social context of user sophistication
EszterHargittai, Northwestern University

There are many studies that look at how people use the internet (for a review, see DiMaggio, Hargittai, Neuman, & Robinson, 2001) and, in particular, what types of content they view online (e.g., Howard, Rainie, & Jones, 2001). There is a separate body of literature that looks at how people use information retrieval systems and, in particular, how people search for information on the Web (for a review of this literature, see Jansen & Pooch, 2001). However, these two areas of inquiry rarely intersect, leaving the discussion of what people do online in isolation from studies of what people are able to do online.

In this chapter, ...

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