UNI SP4 Study Period 4 2014

NET102 M1 Introduction

Internet Studies 102 : The Internet and Everyday Life : Week One

Introduction: Studying the Internet

In this topic, we start making connections between our individual experiences and perspectives of the Internet with more universal, broader statements that can be made about the role the Internet plays in society and people’s lives today. Your own input, drawing on your experiences, is a vital part of this process. At the same time, we’ll be exploring how our own experiences and “everyday Internet” may be different from other people’s, and the implications of this for studying the Internet. We also set out some key ideas and questions that structure the unit’s approach to the question of the relationship/s between the Internet and everyday life, concepts and questions that then may become the tools with which you will explore some of the different realms of the everyday.

Also keep these categories in mind as you study: economy, community, power, and identity. In module 2, we will be dealing with them in detail, and, by the end of the unit, you will be well on your way to using these to help organise your analyses. In the meantime, keep these other areas in mind as you progress through the unit.

In this unit, we expect you develop the skills and understanding to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of how the Internet and people’s everyday lives are interconnected
  • Present effectively reasoned views about the causes, circumstances and consequences of the Internet and everyday life
  • Analyse the Internet in everyday life to gain broader insights into its impact on society, especially in relation to our experience of time and space
  • Demonstrate understanding of the similarities and difference in the way the Internet is experienced, and how it is represented in public and private discourses
  • Identify understand and begin using broad categories (Economy, Power, Community and Identity) to understand to social basis for Internet technology

What you need to do:


  • Study Guide for Module 1.

These study notes establishes some of the basic ideas and approaches we’ll be using in this unit: What are the reasons for studying the Internet in terms of the everyday and what our chief areas of focus?

  • “Everyday Life” and “Conclusion” sections (pp. 163 to 165) of Berger, A. A. (1995). Sociological Theory and Cultural Criticism. In Cultural Criticism: A Primer of Key Concepts. Sage Publications. In e-Reserve. While this comes from a sociology rather than a humanities source, this is relevant and useful as a short summary of the study of everyday life. Especially pay attention to the different ways that ‘everyday life’ is defined. NOTE: You don’t have to read it all, just pages 163 to 165).

  • Bakardjieva, M. (2011). The Internet in Everyday Life: Exploring the Tenets and Contributions of Diverse Approaches. In M. Consalvo and C. Ess (Eds). The Handbook of Internet Studies (pp. 58-82). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. (e-book in library: search for the book title and select ‘Electronic resource’) At this point, simply scan through it to get a sense of what it is about but do not think you have to read all of this page by page now - this provides a background understanding of the way this topic has been taken up in academic studies and some may find it overwhelming right now. Prioritise the first two readings listed above and keep this at hand and review it towards the latter half of module 1, particularly the last week, as it would tend to make more sense then.

Reading listings are provided as close to APA 6th as possible but, for ease of navigation, readability and narrative coherence in instructional materials, differ from how you would format for a reference list in an essay. For instance, in a reference list, urls would be included in full rather than as a hyperlink within a chapter or article title, and you would not bold the entire reference.


Every time you see ‘DISCUSS,’ it means you are to raise and engage in these discussion topics in either your tutorial, for internal students, or the discussion board, for students studying externally. These discussions become part of the pool from which you select and reflect upon for your Assignment 3.

How does your experience of the Internet compare with others? For instance: how did you first encounter, hear or read about it; when and how did you first ‘go online’ and what did you think of it; how do you use it nowadays; do you think of it as different or part of your everyday life?


What controversies have you come across involving the Internet and its applications, for instance, issues in the way a service is provided or the terms of agreement, crime, privacy, and so forth? Discuss the political and economic dimensions as well as the impact of community and identity formations in your examples.


In addition to the above, you might also like to read:

Gardiner, M. (2000). Critiques of Everyday Life. New York: Routledge (Introduction only pages 1 - 23)

Lindley, S. Meek, S. Sellen, A. & Harper, R. (2012). “It’s simply integral to what I do”: Enquiries into how the web is weaved into everyday life. World Wide Web Conference, April 16 - 20, Lyon, France. http://research.microsoft.com/pubs/159317 /FiveModesofWebUse_%20WWW2012.pdf

The broader goals and concepts in this topic are important for all subsequent assignments and should be reviewed when preparing any assignment.

NEXT: Study Guide for Module 1 »