Academic Publishes Book on Networks of Communication in South Africa
Acting Dean and Head of the School of Social Sciences within the College of Humanities, Professor Radhamany Sooryamoorthy, has authored a new book which examines the development of communication patterns, social contacts and networks in South Africa.
In the book, published by Cambridge University Press and titled: Networks of Communication in South Africa: New Media, New Technologies, Sooryamoorthy notes that within a short period of time, South Africa has made remarkable progress in the adoption of mobile and Internet technologies.
Based on pioneering quantitative and qualitative data, he analyses trends in changing media use in Africa, showing the development of the use of new media for communication in South Africans of all ages, races and genders in relation to the development of media infrastructure, cost and government policy.
‘The book shows how people use media for communication purposes that affirm or break their social contracts and networks, and how they apply media to establish, re-establish or maintain social relationships. This book will be of interest to those researching the growth of communication technology in Africa, as well as those involved in the wider fields of development studies and economics,’ said Sooryamoorthy.
Talking about the relevancy of the book, Vice-President for Research at the International Sociological Association, Markus S Schulz said, ‘Empirically grounded in the latest survey data and sharp ethnographic observations, R Sooryamoorthy presents us with a fascinating overview of the new media uses in a rapidly changing society. Broad in scope, yet rich in detail, this is essential reading for anyone interested in how South Africans connect and communicate via internet and mobile phones.’
While Professor Marc Caldwell of the University of Fort Hare added, ‘This book should be mandatory reading for anyone researching new and social media usage in Southern Africa. This empirical study makes a much needed contribution to a research field whose literature remains strongly northern hemispheric in its contexts and perspectives.’
‘Apart from the spate of studies on the “Arab Spring” events, there remains too little research on social media penetration on the rest of the African continent. This book makes good that gap. It will also benefit researchers interested in using mixed methods in social media research.’
The book can be purchased directly from Cambridge University Press or at all major book retailers.
Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo