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Internet Communication

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James W. Chesebro, David T. McMahan and Preston C. Russett

This textbook examines the Internet as a communication system – the single most pervasive, involving, and global communication system ever created by human beings, with a host of political, economic, cognitive, and sociocultural implications. The Internet crosses all cultural boundaries and is the fastest growing global communication system ever witnessed. The text explores the ways in which the technology of the Internet, beyond its specific content, possesses its own message-generating capabilities that dramatically and decisively affect its users. Focusing on the power of media theories, the text explains, describes, interprets, and evaluates the Internet in insightful, useful, and thoughtful ways. The concepts, processes, functions, and outcomes of the Internet as a global communication technology are used as a way of testing the validity and reliability of media theories, and media theories are used as a way of identifying the powers and limitations of the Internet as a communication system. An overview of the Internet’s past and anticipated future is provided
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10 Transcending Space, Time, and Class: Video Sharing, Video Gaming, and Praying Online

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Transcending Space, Time, and Class: Video Sharing, Video Gaming, and Praying Online

Scholars from a variety of disciplines, from sociology to communications, from Turkle (2011) to Bauerlein (2011), regularly assault, deconstruct, and celebrate the social implications and transformations produced by the modern evolution of computer mediated communication. Without question, computer mediated communication online continues to nurture “dramatic, unprecedented changes in our personal lives and social relationships” (Kempers, 2002, p. 118). Indeed, access to entertainment, education, community, family, and religion is increasingly liberated from pure face-to-face interactions and other physical constraints.

Online, we see diminishments in a host of variables that previously limited one’s access to numerous sociocultural systems and experiences. For instance, a lack of suitable transportation or financial support, the remoteness of a location or one’s physical disabilities have all become less obstructive or discouraging when communicating digitally in virtual contexts (Loane & D’Alessandro, 2013). Indeed, digital technologies appear to be redefining the parameters and contexts available for socializing while adding new layers, pockets, and levels to society and popular culture.

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