Personal Relationships, Intimacy and the Self in a Mediated and Global Digital Age

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

Few would disagree with Roger Silverstone that the near global exposure of almost all individuals to various forms of mass media content invisibly informs and constrains much social action and belief (Silverstone, 1994: 133). There is less agreement about the precise nature of the impact, particularly in the domain of personal life. The concern of this chapter is digitally mediated forms of communication and intimacy in personal relationships. My work in the 1990s sought to untangle contradictory claims about social change, selfhood and the quality of personal relationships, reconnecting theory with empirical evidence. The optimists in debate then, exemplified by Anthony Giddens, saw personal relationships as becoming more intense and democratically collaborative projects as people sought to anchor themselves through intimacy in rapidly changing worlds. For the pessimists, then exemplified by Zygmunt Bauman and Ulrich Beck, the same forces of rapid change were corrosive of personal relationships and rendered intimacy insipid, vapid and unworkably fragile. Exaggeratedly optimistic and pessimistic postures also haunt discussions of digital technologies and everyday personal lives, similarly implicating theories of selfhood and social change.

Personal Relationships, Intimacy and the Self in a Mediated and Global Digital Age (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255702880_Personal_Relationships_Intimacy_and_the_Self_in_a_Mediated_and_Global_Digital_Age [accessed Apr 23, 2017].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Sociology
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Perspectives
EditorsKate Orton-Johnson, Nick Prior
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages13-33
Number of pages20
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-137-29779-2
ISBN (Print)978-0-230-22282-3, 978-0-230-22283-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2013

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