Information and Communication Technologies in Everyday Life: A Concise Introduction and Research Guide

Information and Communication Technologies in Everyday Life: A Concise Introduction and Research Guide

Information and Communication Technologies in Everyday Life: A Concise Introduction and Research Guide

Information and Communication Technologies in Everyday Life: A Concise Introduction and Research Guide

Synopsis

How do cell phones change society? How do children use computers? How can we manage relationships via text messages? The internet, television, email and other new forms of information technology are changing at a rapid pace with potentially profound but also subtle influences on social life. This book offers a succinct introduction to both the experience and implications of these information and communication technologies (ICTs) in everyday life. Drawing on a wide variety of studies from different countries, the author considers the potential, or feared, social consequences of ICTs. Throughout, he analyzes what factors are shaping the debates surrounding information and communication technologies. The outcome is a cutting-edge book that offers a fresh approach to understanding ICTs and everyday life.

Excerpt

The aim of this book is to introduce research on information and communication technologies (ICTs) and everyday life primarily to students entering the field and to those developing these technologies and services. The book provides a guide to a number of the main existing research areas and poses some possible questions for future research.

Perhaps it is best to start with a clarification of the words used in the title. The term ‘information and communication technology’ dates from the mid-1980s and in particular from the British PICT initiative, a programme for looking at ICTs (Dutton, 1996). One glossary from the programme leader’s summary of that work defined ICTs as ‘all kinds of electronic systems used for broadcasting, telecommunications and computer-mediated communications’ (Dutton, 1999, p. 7), while elsewhere he gives the examples of ‘personal computers, video games, interactive TV, cell phones, the Internet [and] electronic payments systems’ (Dutton, 1999, p. 3). This combination of general definition and examples conveys a sense of what ICTs can include, without having to draw absolutely precise boundaries. This might be just as well given the ongoing development of technologies and services.

Turning to the second key term, scholarly work looking at ‘everyday life’ in general has a longer intellectual heritage that can be traced back to Lukács and later Lefebvre and de Certeau in Europe and the Chicago school, Goffman and Garfinkel in the USA (Bennett and Watson, 2002). However, the study of ‘information technologies in everyday life’ is more recent. Hence, the book focuses mainly on the research undertaken since the 1990s. In practice, ‘everyday life’ has tended not to mean the whole of life. Instead, the studies have tended to deal with those parts of life outside the formal worlds of work and education.

The roots of empirical work in this field can be traced back to 1980s research on the social uses of television, on the (then new) home computer market and on the domestic phone. However, it was the 1990s that saw a substantial growth in commercial and academic research in the field of ICTs . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.