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Communication and «The Good Life»


Edited By Hua Wang

What is a «good life» and how can it be achieved? In this volume, communication scholars and media experts explore these fundamental questions about human existence and aspiration in terms of what a «good life» might look like in a contemporary, mediatized society. While in many ways a mediatized society brings us closer to some version of the «good life», it also leads us away from it. The affordances of new technologies seem to have shifted, for many, from an opportunity to an obligation. Rather than choosing when and where to be connected to these larger networks of information and acquaintances, we feel we must be permanently available, thus losing the luxury of controlling our time and attention.
This volume illuminates the complexity of our modern era, exploring how society can leverage exciting new opportunities whilst recognizing the complex challenges we face in a time of constant change. It helps us understand how we have come to this point and where we may be going so that we may study the opportunities and the dangers, the chances and the risks, that digital media pose in our quest for some version of «the good life».
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← viii | ix → Acknowledgments

I am deeply honored to serve as the 2014 ICA Conference Theme Chair and the editor of this theme book. These were no small tasks, as I discovered in the last 24 months. From the conference planning that began even before London to organizing the theme sessions in Seattle, from manuscript reviews to the editorial process, every step of the way presented unique challenges and pushed me to new limits. The learning was tremendous because the people I worked with were inspiring. I would like to thank the ICA President Peter Vorderer for his vision and trust in me with these important tasks. I am also grateful to the ICA Executive Director Michael L. Haley, the 2012 ICA Conference Theme Chair Patricia Moy, and the 2013 ICA Conference Theme Chair Leah A. Lievrouw for sharing their wisdom with me along this journey. In addition, I thank Stacey Spiegel and Daniela Franz for designing the beautiful book cover with the generous support of Sam Luna. Mary Savigar, our dedicated commissioning editor at Peter Lang, has been enthusiastic, understanding, and patient. This book would not have been possible without Mary’s expert advice and the professional service by her colleagues Phyllis Korper, Sophie Appel, Catherine Tung, and Suzie Tibor. I also appreciate the encouragement and support from family, friends, as well as colleagues in my home department at the University at Buffalo, especially my Department Chair Tom Feeley. I also want to thank Amanda Hamilton for...

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