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Social Media: A Critical Introduction (Third Edition)

A Book by Christian Fuchs, published by Sage

You will never look at social media the same way again. 
Social media are an integral part of contemporary society. From news and politics to language and everyday life, they have changed the way we communicate, use information and understand the world.
So we have to ask critical questions about social media. We have to dig deeper into issues of ownership, power, class and (in)justice.
This book equips you with a critical understanding of the complexities and contradictions at the heart of social media’s relationship with society. The revised and expanded Third Edition:

  • Explores populism, racism and nationalism in a new chapter on right-wing authoritarianism.
  • Introduces the phenomenon of social media influencers in the age of Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat.
  • Explains how big data is central to social media in a new chapter on big data capitalism and imperialism.
  • Explores the growing prominence of platforms and platform capitalism.
  • Challenges you to envision and achieve a truly social media that serves the purposes of a just and fair world.
  • Analyses fake news and misinformation in the context of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica.

There are winners and losers in the age of digital capitalism. This book is an essential guide for anyone who wants to critically understand how we got to digital capitalism, and what we can do about it.

Order at SageAmazon UKAmazon.com

Preface and Introduction, PDF
Sample chapter: Chapter 7: Influencer Capitalism: Reified Consciousness in the Age of Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, PDF

The German edition of this book was published in 2021 by UVK/utb

Image: Sage, book cover.

Christian Fuchs


Christian Fuchs is Professor at, and the Director of, the Communication and Media Research Institute. He is also Director of the Westminster Institute for Advanced Studies.

His fields of expertise are critical digital & social media studies, Internet & society, political economy of media and communication, information society theory, social theory and critical theory.


31 March 2021
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