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Sonia Livingstone
Putting New Media into Context

Rather than beginning with an account of the latest media technologies, as often seems tempting, and then attempting to unravel their consequences, this part of the Handbook sets the scene by starting with questions of society, social problems and social change. The metaphor of the ‘landscape’ which underpins this part was chosen for its breadth and openness in guiding the identification of where and why certain questions arise regarding the social shaping and social consequences of new media across a variety of disciplines or research domains. It argues that media are always embedded in a social landscape, which precedes, shapes, contextualizes and continues after any specific technological innovation. While the social shaping argument is addressed more directly in Part Two ...

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