Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are enormously popular: they are continuously ranked among the most frequently accessed websites worldwide. However there are as yet few studies which combine critical theoretical and empirical research in the context of digital and social media. The aim of this book is to study the constraints and emancipatory potentials of new media and to assess to what extent digital and social media can contribute to strengthen the idea of the communication and network commons, and a commons-based information society.
Based on a critical theory and political economy approach, this book explores:

  • the foundational concepts of a critical theory of media, technology, and society
  • users’ knowledge, attitudes, and practices towards the antagonistic character and the potentials and risks of social media
  • whether technological and/or social changes are required in order to bring about real social media and human liberation.

Critical Theory and Social Media examines both academic discourse on, and users’ responses to, new media, making it a valuable tool for international scholars and students of sociology, media and communication studies, social theory, new media, and information society studies. Its clear and interesting insights into corporate practices of the global new media sector will mean that it appeals to critical social media users around the world.

chapter |12 pages


part I|85 pages

Theoretical foundations

chapter 3|18 pages

Critical (Internet) privacy studies

Ideology critique

chapter 4|23 pages

Critical (Internet) surveillance studies

Commodity critique

chapter II|50 pages

Case study

chapter 6|27 pages

Empirical results

(Dis)advantages of social media