Not to determine what it might have meant at the time

Info icon This preview shows pages 7–9. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
not to determine what it might have meant at the time the novels where first published, or what it might mean in the future, but to discover what it can mean for us now. The four cultural representations by Egan, Gibson, Fincher and Jonze are used as counter-voices against the mainly dystopian view of The Circle and Men, Women and Children. The novels and films are different takes on the mainly negative view that exists in the media. This thesis then take the approach that cultural representations do not necessarily reflect the actual human and social network relations, but act as grounds where alternative takes can be developed and displayed. In order to analyze these aspects in American fiction, this thesis foregrounds theoretical concepts by Marshall McLuhan, Bruno Latour, N. Katherine Hayles and Alexander Galloway, which will be elaborated upon in the next chapter. McLuhan is helpful for understanding social media within the larger context of Media Studies, and sheds light on how social media is at once a private but also public medium. With his Actor-Network-Theory, Latour focuses on relations between people and non-human objects. ANT helps us understand that there is no hierarchical order between people and a social network site. Hayles has extensively researched interrelations between human and intelligent machine throughout the last fifteen years. The concept of the posthuman, explored by Hayles, is a productive framework of looking at the interactions of people and social media. Alexander Galloway has looked at how control works in network. His theories are important for understanding how power is created within a decentralized networked world.
Image of page 7

Info icon This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
7 Defining Social Media It is important to demarcate the phenomenon of social media, since many websites in the Web 2.0 era revolve around user-input and sharing. danah boyd, scholar on social media at Harvard and NYU, defines these specific sites as web-based services that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection, and (3) view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system. The nature and nomenclature of these connections may vary from site to site. (211) boyd stresses that the term ‘social networking sites’ is often interchanged with ‘social network sites’, and she clarifies the subtle but important difference: ‘Networking’ emphasizes relationship initiation, often between strangers, while ‘network’ implies an established system of connections. boyd argues that networking is certainly possible through the sites she labels social media, but argues that this is not their primary practice. Social network sites are mostly about displaying the already established connections through a 'friends' list. What makes social network sites unique is not that they allow individuals to meet strangers, but rather that they enable users to articulate and make visible their social networks. This can result in connections between
Image of page 8
Image of page 9
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Sign up to access 24/7 study resources for your classes

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern