I recently posted about Dhiraj Murthy’s new book on Twitter. He’s also got an article in the current issue of Sociology titled ‘Towards a sociological understanding of social media: theorizing Twitter‘. Here is the abstract:
This article presents the first steps towards a sociological understanding of emergent social media. This article uses Twitter, the most popular social media website, as its focus. Recently, the social media site has been prominently associated with social movements in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria. Rather than rush to breathlessly describe its novel role in shaping contemporary social movements, this article takes a step back and considers Twitter in historical and broad sociological terms. This article is not intended to provide empirical evidence or a fully formed theoretical understanding of Twitter, but rather to provide a selected literature review and a set of directions for sociologists. The article makes connections specifically to Erving Goffman’s interactionist work, not only to make the claim that some existing sociological theory can be used to think critically about Twitter, but also to provide some initial thoughts on how such theoretical innovations can be developed.