Internet Studies: The Foundations of a Transformative Field Bill Dutton Oxford Internet Institute (OII) University of Oxford www.ox.ac.ukPresentation for Students and Faculty, Lisbon University Institute,Lisbon, Portugal, 10 April 2013.
Rising Prominence and Diversity• Increasing significance of the Internet• Worldwide Diffusion• Meta-research: Winson Peng et al 2013, and Rice and Fuller 2013• Tremendous Growth and IncreasingDiversity• New Efforts at Synthesis: Handbooks,Symposia, Debate
Objects of Study • Technology (Internet, Web, Internet of Things) • Use (in Contexts) • Everyday Life in a Network Society • Creating and Working in a Network Economy • Communication, Power and Influence in a Converging Media World • Policy, Governance, and Regulation•
Key Questions• Who Shapes?• Why?• With What Implications?
Technology Use (Context) PolicyWho shapes? Who shapes Who uses Who shapes design and (does not use) law and policy? implementa- in what ways? tion?Why? What goals Why such Their goals and(structures, and objectives patterns in objectives?cultures, … drive design particularshaping development contexts?choice)With what Do technical Do patterns of How isimplications for designs bias use support evolvingwhom? use and different ecology of law impacts? aims/groups? and policy shaping design and use?
Perspectives on the Field• Fad, multi-disciplinary field, sub-fieldof other disciplines, or a discipline ofits own? ‘Interdisciplinary Field’• Defining the Internet: Narrowly,Broadly? - Histories• Two conceptions of InternetStudies: • Particularistic (Wellman) • Synoptic
Transformative Role• Transforming Study of ICTs• Transforming the Disciplines
The Future of Internet Studies • Networking a Multi-Disciplinary Status Quo • Specialization and Fragmentation • Integrative: Creating a Derivative Discipline
Number and Proportion of Internet Users by RegionSource: Internet World Stats- www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm. Penetration rates are based on a world population of6,930,055,154 and 2,267,233,742 estimated Internet users for December 31, 2011.
Internet Studies• 2000: Lawrence, Kansas• 2013: Worldwide Diffusionand Increasing Significance‘We are not in Kansasanymore’, indeed.
Internet Studies• Dutton, W. H. (2013), ‘Internet Studies’ inDutton, W. H. (ed.), The Oxford Handbook ofInternet Studies. Oxford University Presshttp://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2231188• Peng, T. Q., Zhu, J. J. H., Zhang, L., & Zhong,Z. J. (2011). “Mapping the Landscape of InternetResearch: Text Mining of Social Science JournalArticles 2000–2009,” New Media & Society.DOI: 10.1177/1461444812462846.