Theorizing new media: Reflexivity, knowledge, and the web 2.0

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19 Citations (Scopus)


A recent wave of popular and scholarly discourse has hailed the arrival of the Web 2.0, marking a new generation of Internet users who share and collaborate on popular social networking sites such as MySpace and user-generated communities such as YouTube and Wikipedia. Social and cultural critics have attempted to take stock of the implications of these various technological changes with specific emphasis on the state of knowledge in contemporary society. This article aims to theoretically examine knowledge in the context of new media technologies with particular attention paid to the notion of “reflexivity.” Focusing on the work of Scott Lash, whose theory of reflexivity radically differs from various other interpretations, I suggest that knowledge, in its modern formulation—as reasoned, stable, and linear—must be rethought for the information age, critiquing some of the predominant scholarly and popular media criticisms that suggests media to be mere enhancements of human forms of communication, knowledge, and sense-making. I conclude by considering some of the ontological dimensions of the transformations in the dynamics of knowledge in new media technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-213
Number of pages14
JournalSociological Inquiry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

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