FIMS Publications

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Information, Communication & Society

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In this 2020 CITAMS special issue of Information, Communication & Society, we bring together an important body of work that draws on the sociological imagination to ask critical questions of our times. We selected nine papers that represent both the breadth of sociological work taking place within CITAMS as well as the diversity of its members. CITAMS is welcoming of a range of perspectives in more than one way. We welcome studies of a range of tools and practices. For example, Kadylak and Cotten (this volume) study the willingness of older adults to use six different emerging technologies in a single study including autonomous vehicles (AVs), assistive robots, Internet connected home appliances, Internet connected cameras for home monitoring, a smart home with a built-in personal digital assistant, and virtual reality (VR). Hoang, Blank, and Quan-Haase (this volume) deconstruct platform work and examine nine different types: “rideshare driving”, “delivery”, “online tasks”, “house/laundry cleaning”, or “other platform work”, “selling used goods”, “selling homemade goods”, “selling consumer brands”, and “selling other goods”. The special issue also showcases in-depth qualitative work. Brause and Blank (this volume) conduct in-depth interviews to learn about the role of Smart Speaker Assistants (SSAs) in the home. And Orr and Davis (this volume) conduct interviews with practitioners to find out about the ethics of artificial intelligence practitioners. Hargittai and colleagues develop a protocol for studying people’s awareness and understanding of algorithms in their interactions with online services including voice assistants, such as Alexa and Google Home. A key theme through all papers is a critical lens. Dodel and Mesch (this volume) look at automation. Boulianne, Koc-Michalska, and Bimber (this volume) examine the Facebook, Twitter, and television in protests. And finally Li and Luo (this volume) examine the roles of news media and Weibo in gender bias. Overall, the special issue provides theoretically-grounded, empirically-sound, and cutting-edge research and analysis.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
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Citation of this paper:

Quan‐Haase, A., Boulianne, S., & Harper, M.-G. (2020). The sociological imagination in studies of communication, information technologies, and media: CITAMS as an invisible college. Information, Communication & Society, 23(5), 633-641. doi:

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