The digital revolution has not only transformed multiple aspects of social life – it also shakes sociological theory, transforming the most basic assumptions that have underlain it. In this timely book, Ori Schwarz explores the main challenges digitalization poses to different strands of sociological theory and offers paths to adapt them to new social realities.
What would symbolic interactionism look like in a world where interaction no longer takes place within bounded situations and is constantly documented as durable digital objects? How should we understand new digitally mediated forms of human association that bind our actions and lives together but have little in common with old-time 'collectives'; and why are they not simply ‘social networks’? How does social capital transform when it is materialized in a digital form, and how does it remould power structures? What happens to our conceptualization of power when faced with the emergence of new forms of algorithmic power? And what happens when labour departs from work? By posing and answering such fascinating questions, and offering critical tools for both students and scholars of social theory and digital society to engage with them, this thought-provoking book draws the outline of future sociological theory for our digital society.