For immediate release | July 10, 2012

Looking beyond avatars, trolls and puppets in digital communities

CHICAGO — Making the argument that community is not an inevitable result of communication, “Digital Dialogues and Community 2.0: After Avatars, Trolls and Puppets” explores the communities that use digital platforms, portals and applications from daily life to build relationships beyond geographical locality and family links.

In this new book published by Chandos Publishing and available from Neal-Schuman Publishers, editor Tara Brabazon and her contributors provide detailed analyses of how technology realigns the boundaries between connection, consciousness and community. Four sections explore themes of communities and resistance, structures of sharing, professional communication and fandom and consumption, revealing that alongside every engaged, nurturing and supportive group are those who are excluded, marginalized, ridiculed or forgotten. Combining ethnographic methods and professional expertise in innovative ways, Brabazon’s book reveals new spaces for thinking about language, identity and social connections.

Brabazon is professor of creative media and head of photography and creative media at the University of Bolton, UK. Having written 11 books and more than 150 academic articles and chapters, she is best known for the monographs “Digital Hemlock” and “The University of Google.” She has won several teaching awards, and her research operates in the space between the evangelical optimism of the online environment and the dystopic depression of cyberbullying and credit card fraud.

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