Use this page to find books on topics in Global Informatics. Books are organized into these categories:

Activism and Social Movements 

Castells, M. (2012). Networks of outrage and hope: Social movements in the internet age. Cambridge: Polity.

Summary: Examines the social, cultural and political roots of new social movements (with reference to Occupy Wall Street, the Egyptian Revolution, et al.), studies their innovative forms of self-organization, assesses the precise role of technology in the dynamics of the movements, and suggests the reasons for the support they have found in large segments of society.

Downing, J. D. H. (Ed.). (2011). Encyclopedia of social movement media. Thousand Oaks, California : Sage Publications.

Summary: Includes more than 250 essays on the varied experiences of social movement media throughout the world in the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Earl, J. & Kimport, K. (2012). Digitally enabled social change: Activism in the internet age. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Summary: Examines key characteristics of Web activism and investigates their impacts on organizing and participation. Draws on evidence from samples of online petitions, boycotts, and e-mailing campaigns to conclude that the Web is valuable to activists for two key reasons: it sharply reduces costs for creating, organizing, and participating in protest; and decreases the need for activists to be physically together in order to act together.

Engdal, S. (2013). Internet activism. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Summary: Internet Activism explores issues such as the viability of Internet activism as a means of political action; the benefits and problems of Internet activism; if US foreign policy should foster Internet activism around the world. Chapter 4: How Has Internet Activism Been Used in Other Nations? Five small chapters on the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, Iran’s Twitter Revolution, Pakistan’s government crack down on Internet activism, India’s blocking or removal of websites, and increases in activism in Russia.

Escobar, A. (2008). Territories of difference: Place, movements, life, redes. Durham: Duke University Press.

Summary: Analyzes the politics of difference enacted by specific place-based ethnic and environmental movements in the context of neoliberal globalization. Discusses the value of local activist knowledge in understanding complex social phenomena and engaging in social action. 

Gerbaudo, P. (2012). Tweets and the streets: Social media and contemporary activism. London : Pluto.

Summary: Examines the relationship between the rise of social media and the emergence of new forms of protest with reference to the Arab Spring and the Occupy movement. Describes social media’s relationship to the intersection of virtual and physical space.

Herrera, L. (2014). Revolution in the age of social media.  London ; New York : Verso.

Summary: “Egypt’s January 25 revolution was triggered by a Facebook page and played out both in virtual spaces and the streets. Social media serves as a space of liberation, but it also functions as an arena where competing forces vie over the minds of the young as they battle over ideas as important as the nature of freedom and the place of the rising generation in the political order. This book provides piercing insights into the ongoing struggles between people and power in the digital age.”

MacKinnon, R. (2012). Consent of the networked: The worldwide struggle for internet freedom. New York: Basic Books.

Summary: Addresses the question of how technology should be structured and governed to support the rights and liberties of Internet users. MacKinnon offers a framework for considering the complex power dynamics amongst governments, corporations, and citizens in cyberspace.

McCaughey, M. A.. & Michael, D. (Eds.) (2003). Cyberactivism : online activism in theory and practice. New York : Routledge.

Summary: Cyberactivism is a timely collection of essays examining the growing importance of online activism. The contributors show how online activists have not only incorporated recent technology as a tool for change, but also how they have changed the meaning of activism, what community means, and how they conceive of collective identity and democratic change. 

Nugroho, Y. & Syarief, S. S.(2012). Beyond click-activism? New media and political processes in contemporary Indonesia. Berlin: fesmedia Asia Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung.

Summary: Exploration of how various citizen groups in Indonesia use and adopt the Internet and social media and the ways in which this use and adoption influences the dynamics of the political processes in the country. 

Shirky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody: The power of organizing without organizations. Penguin.

Summary: Provides an interdisciplinary framework for considering the impact of new technology on social networks (particularly grassroots activist groups) with reference to web 2.0 tools and open source design.


Politics and Government

Loader, B. & Mercea, D. (Eds.)(2012). Social media and democracy: Innovations in participatory politics. New York: Routledge.

Summary: Collection of academic articles that critically investigate the complex interaction between social media and contemporary democratic politics, and provides a grounded analysis of the emerging importance of social media in civic engagement.

Wasserman, H. (Ed.). (2011). Popular media, democracy and development in Africa. London : Routledge.

Summary:  Popular media could play a role to encourage political debate, provide information for development, or critique the very definitions of ‘democracy’ and ‘development’. Based on case studies, the essays discuss variety of media formats and platforms, ranging from radio and television to the Internet, mobile phones, street posters, film and music.


Community and Society 

Calhoun, C. (Ed). (1993). Habermas and the public sphere. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Summary: The essays detail the relationship between civil society and public life through a Habermasian framework with attention given to the changing character of democracy and public discourse.  

Hellekson, K. and Busse, K. (Eds.)  (2006). Fan fiction and fan communities in the age of the internet. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Summary: Fans have been responding to literary works since the days of Homer”s Odyssey and Euripedes” Medea. More recently, a number of science fiction, fantasy, media, and game works have found devoted fan followings. The advent of the Internet has brought these groups from relatively limited, face-to-face enterprises to easily accessible global communities, within which fan texts proliferate and are widely read and even more widely commented upon. New interactions between readers and writers of fan texts are possible in these new virtual communities.

Weller, K. & others (Eds.) (2013). Twitter and society.  New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.

Summary: Since its launch in 2006, Twitter has evolved from a niche service to a mass phenomenon; it has become instrumental for everyday communication as well as for political debates, crisis communication, marketing, and cultural participation. But the basic idea behind it has stayed the same: users may post short messages (tweets) of up to 140 characters and follow the updates posted by other users. Drawing on the experience of leading international Twitter researchers from a variety of disciplines and contexts, this is the first book to document the various notions and concepts of Twitter communication, providing a detailed and comprehensive overview of current research into the uses of Twitter. It also presents methods for analyzing Twitter data and outlines their practical application in different research contexts.

Williamson, T., Imbroscio, D., & Alperovitz, G. (2002). Making a place for community: Local democracy in a global era. New York: Routledge.

Summary: US-centric, but has useful models to consider, especially about global issues and linking across levels, from community to international.

Zittrain, J. (2008). The future of the internet–and how to stop It. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Summary: Argues that the generative Internet is on a path to a lockdown, ending its cycle of innovation—and facilitating unsettling new kinds of control. As this kind of control increases the very nature of the Internet—its “generativity,” or innovative character—is at risk. The Internet’s salvation, Zittrain argues, lies in the hands of its millions of users. Drawing on generative technologies like Wikipedia that have so far survived their own successes, this book shows how to develop new technologies and social structures that allow users to work creatively and collaboratively, and participate in overcoming developments that threaten the existence of an open Internet.



Dijck, J.-van. (2013). The culture of connectivity : A critical history of social media. Oxford : Oxford University Press

Summary: This book studies the rise of social media, providing both a historical and a critical analysis of the emergence of major platforms in the context of a rapidly changing ecosystem of connective media. It offers an analytical prism that can be used to view techno-cultural as well as socio-economic aspects of this transformation as well as to examine shared ideological principles between major social media platforms.

Headrick, D. (2000). When information came of age: Technologies of knowledge in the age of reason and revolution, 1700 – 1850. Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Summary: Argues that studying current events related to information technologies requires  an understanding of the systems developed in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to gather, store, transform, display, and communicate information.

Reichman, H. (1987). Railwaymen and revolution: Russia, 1905.University of California Press.

Summary: Describes the development of political activity and the emergence of class consciousness among Russian railwaymen who, due to their occupation, were at the center of communications during the 1905 strike in Russia.

Ryan, J. (2013). A History of the internet and the digital future. London: Reaktion Books Ltd.

Summary: A great adjustment in human affairs is underway. Political, commercial and cultural life is changing from the centralized, hierarchical and standardized structures of the industrial age to something radically different: the economy of the emerging digital era. A History of the Internet and the Digital Future tells the story of the development of the Internet from the 1950s to the present, and examines how the balance of power has shifted between the individual and the state in the areas of censorship, copyright infringement, intellectual freedom and terrorism and warfare.

Standage, T. (1998). The Victorian internet. New York: Walker.

Summary: Historical events surrounding the innovation and the adoption of the telegraph – the Internet of the Victorian Age – have demonstrated close parallels in many respects to today’s Internet. The hopes and skepticism associated with the Internet – e.g. benefits to commerce, adjustments in social mores – mirror the hopes, fears, and misunderstandings inspired by the telegraph. Thus, Standage feels that these hopes, fears, and misunderstandings have more to do with human nature than the technology itself.

Standage, T. (2013). Writing on the wall. New York, N.Y. : Bloomsbury.

Summary: Chronicles social media over two millennia, from papyrus letters that Cicero used to exchange news across the Empire to today, reminding us how modern behavior echoes that of prior centuries and encouraging debate and discussion about how we’ll communicate in the future.



Urbanski, H. (Ed.)(2010). Writing and the digital generation: Essays on new media rhetoric. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.

Summary: Is it true that, in this era of digitization and mass media, reading and writing are on the decline? In a thought-provoking collection of essays and profiles, 30 contributors explore what may instead be a rise in rhetorical activity, an upsurge due in part to the sudden blurring of the traditional roles of creator and audience in participatory media. 

Junco, R. (2014). Engaging students through social media:  Evidence-based practices for use in student affairs. San Francisco, CA : Jossey-Bass.

Summary: “The book bridges the gap between a desire to use social media and the process knowledge needed to actually implement and assess effective social media interventions, providing a research-based understanding of how students use social media and the ways it can be used to enhance student learning. Discover how social media can be used to enhance student development and improves academic outcomes Learn appropriate strategies for social media use and how they contribute to student success in both formal and informal learning settings Dispel popular myths about how social media use affects students Learn to use social media as a way to engage students, teach online civil discourse, and support student development .”


News and Media

Allan, S. & Thorsen, E. (Eds). (2009). Citizen journalism, global perspectives. New York : Peter Lang.

Summary: International perspectives on citizen journalism. Assesses the contribution of citizen journalism to crisis reporting as well as the ways in which citizen journalism has encouraged new dialogues and debates.

Hanley, K. M. (2014). The New Newsroom: The Impact of Digital and Social Media on Local Television News Stations. Diss. Drexel University.

Summary: “This thesis addresses the integration and impact of digital and social media into local television news stations across the country through 2013. Digital and social media have allowed local television stations to stay engaged with their viewers on a 24/7 basis, by promoting constant conversation. Studies note that social media is on a continuous spiral of growth through which viewers have the opportunity to contribute to the news gathering process, and in turn it allows newscasters to continue an ongoing conversation with their viewers in real time. By looking into all aspects of local television newsrooms, this thesis investigates how digital and social media are changing the journalistic landscape…”

Rane, H., Ewart, J., & Martinkus, J. (2014). Media framing of the Muslim world:  Conflicts, crises, and contexts. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Summary: “On how news values and media frames contribute to Western audiences’ perceptions and understandings of Islam and Muslims; the extent to which historic conceptions of orientalism remain salient and are manifested in Islamophobia; how reporting on terrorism and asylum seekers impacts on public opinion and policy making; how the relationship between mass and social media contribute to the changing socio-political landscape of the Middle East and our understanding of the Muslim world; and how journalism and audiences have evolved in the decade since 9/11.”



Booth, P. (Ed.)(2013).  Doctor who : Fan phenomena. Bristol: Intellect Books.

Summary: Doctor Who fandom has developed and changed significantly in the fifty years since its inception. On fans and scholars from around the globe explore fan fiction, fan videos, and fan knitting, as well as the creation of new languages. As multifaceted as the character himself, Doctor Who fans come in many forms, and this book investigates thoroughly the multitude of fandoms, fan works, and fan discussions about this always-surprising and energetic program.

Schäfer, M. T. (2011). Bastard culture!: How user participation transforms cultural production. Amsterdam University Press.

Summary: Describes the media industry’s shift from creating content to providing platforms for user driven social interactions and user-generated content. Articulates how participation unfolds not only in the co-creation of media content and software-based products, but also in the development and defense of distinctive media practices.



Hellekson, K. and Busse, K. (Eds.)(2014). The fan fiction studies readerIowa City: University of Iowa Press.

Summary: Comprises key foundational texts of the fan studies corpus, with a focus on fan fiction. Collected here are important texts by scholars whose groundbreaking work established the field and outlined some of its enduring questions. Editors Karen Hellekson and Kristina Busse provide cogent introductions that place each piece in its historical and intellectual context, mapping the historical development of fan studies and suggesting its future trajectories.

LaLonde, A. G. and Gilson, J. (2009). But I’m your biggest fan!: Handling trademark problems posed by fan-created contentNewark, NJ: Lexis Nexis Matthew Bender & Company, Inc.

Summary: The critically-acclaimed BBC television series Sherlock (2010- ) re-envisions Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective for the digital age, joining participants in the active traditions of Sherlockians/Holmesians and fans from other communities, including science fiction, media, and anime. This collection explores the cultural intersections and fan traditions that converge in Sherlock and its fandoms. Essays focus on the industrial and cultural contexts of Sherlock’s release, on the text of Sherlock as adaptation and transformative work, and on Sherlock’s critical and popular reception.

Mansfield, H. (2012). Social media for social good. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Summary: Includes more than 100 best practices covering Web 1.0, Web 2.0, and Web 3.0 nonprofit communications and fundraising.

Al-Deen, N., Hana, S. & Hendricks, J. A. (2012). Social media usage and impact. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Summary:  Explores the emerging role and impact of social media as they evolve. Examines its implementation and effect  in  educational settings, strategic communication (often considered to be a merging of advertising and public relations), politics, and legal and ethical issues.  Constitute original researches using varied research methodologies for analyzing and presenting information about social media. This collection is an essential resource for any media technology course. With the rapid proliferation and adoption of social media, it is a juggernaut that must be addressed in the higher education curriculum and research.

Stein, L. E. & Busse, K. (Eds.)(2012). Sherlock and transmedia fandom: Essays on the BBC series. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, Inc.

Summary: “Explores the cultural intersections and fan traditions that converge in Sherlock and its fandoms. Essays focus on the industrial and cultural contexts of Sherlock’s release, on the text of Sherlock as adaptation and transformative work, and on Sherlock’s critical and popular reception. The volume’s multiple perspectives examine Sherlock Holmes as an international transmedia figure with continued cultural impact, offering insight into not only the BBC series itself, but also into its literary source, and with it, the international resonance of the Victorian detective and his sidekick.”