The Virtual Self addresses major issues in sociology that inform virtually all of a student s course work. Of central concern is the relationship between everyday life and social structure in key domains of communication, personality, work/family, leisure and entertainment, and economics. At the same time, the book advances an argument about our stage of civilization, joining dialogue with critical thinkers and theorists who bemoan the loss of community and civic discourse. These perspectives from critical theory and postmodernism are introduced in readable, digestible ways as discussions are linked to standard sociological concerns such as the relationship between self and society.
Written in a lively, accessible style, The Virtual Self presumes no sociological background and cites ample literature for further reference. Students and scholars will find it an engaging and exciting text.
1. Everyday Life in Our Wired World.
2. Sociology s Encyclopedia.
3. Does Postmodernism Make You Mad? or, Did You Flunk Statistics?.
4. Adventures in Capitalism.
5. Girl Talk.
6. Virtually, a Sociology!.
"This is a bold, innovative work; a powerful study that attests to the cultural construction of the virtual and real self in an often terrifying post–industrial world. Ben Agger is America s leading sociological theorist in the critical school tradition. Classical and contemporary sociological theory ignored the issues he addresses in this book: namely how the self is embedded in technology. Agger corrects this oversight, and in the process has written a book that belongs on the shelf of all serious students of self, the media, culture, and the organization of everyday life." Norman K. Denzin, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
"The Virtual Self explores the many challenges posed by virtuality for ethical, political, and social analysis. Agger mobilizes a wide–ranging style of intertextual criticism that engagingly illustrates why virtual selves and network societies must become a new focus for contemporary social research. His accessible approach and conversational style make this an ideal book for courses in several different disciplines." Timothy W. Luke, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University