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[liberationtech] NEW BOOK: Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age

Yosem Companys companys at
Sun Mar 3 19:40:28 PST 2013

From: Dhiraj Murthy <dmurthy at>

I wanted to introduce my recently published book, Twitter: Social Communication in the Twitter Age, which is part of Polity's Digital Media and Society series. My book takes a historically-contextualized approach to understanding Twitter and presents specific case studies of citizen journalism, social movements, health, and disasters. Let me know via @dhirajmurthy if you want to learn more about the book, how to use it in classes, etc.

Available in paperback at Amazon at: and worldwide/review copies via Polity at:


"Dhiraj Murthy's Twitter is a rich and informed consideration of one of the most commonly used sites in the US today. Drawing from multiple perspectives and incorporating literature from sociology, communication, political science, and media studies, Murthy’s book includes chapters on the role Twitter plays in reshaping journalism, activism practices, disaster coordination, and the sharing of social support and medical information. Notably, the book pays special attention to historical context, drawing out connections between Twitter and earlier technologies, and using these comparisons to illustrate what is new and what is not so new about this fascinating communication platform. Murthy engages with sophisticated analytical frameworks but does so using accessible language and concrete examples, which will make this volume especially useful in the classroom."
Nicole Ellison, Michigan State University

"The 200,000 million tweets sent each day have been deserving of serious scholarly attention. Murthy addresses this gap in a pioneering book."
The Global Journal

"Dhiraj Murthy's Twitter is an excellent overview of the endless spirals of meaning and insignificance that characterize the micro-blogging phenomenon."
Hal Niedzviecki, author of The Peep Diaries: How We're Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbours


Twitter has become a household name, discussed both for its role in prominent national elections, natural disasters, and political movements, as well as for what some malign as narcissistic “chatter.” This book takes a critical step back from popular discourse and media coverage of Twitter, to present the first balanced, scholarly engagement of this popular medium. In this timely and comprehensive introduction, Murthy not only discusses Twitter’s role in our political, economic, and social lives, but also draws a historical line between the telegraph and Twitter to reflect on changes in social communication over time. The book thoughtfully examines Twitter as an emergent global communications medium and provides a theoretical framework for students, scholars, and tweeters to reflect critically on the impact of Twitter and the contemporary media environment. The book uses case studies including citizen journalism, health, and national disasters to provide empirically rich insights and to help decipher some of the ways in which Twitter and social media more broadly may be shaping contemporary life.

Dhiraj Murthy
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Director, Social Network Innovation Lab
Bowdoin College
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-721-5152 (o)
207-725-3023 (f)
dmurthy [at] bowdoin [dot] edu

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