Friday, February 8, 2013

Author Investigation: Leah A. Lievrouw

Leah A. Lievrouw is a professor in the Department of Information Studies at University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Lievrouw received her Bachelor degree in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin in 1975. Her first master degree was in Biomedical Communications/ Instructional Development at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Dallas, 1979. Then she studied at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California, and obtained her second M.A. and Ph.D. degree in Communication Theory and Research in 1986. In Professor Lievrouw’s website, where you can also download her detailed CV download her detailed CV: it's 30-page long!

Professor Lievrouw’s research focuses on the relationship between media and information technologies and social change. She is author or editor of more than 10 books/book chapters, and has published a number of academic articles. Her most recent book is “Alternative and Activist New Media” , published by Polity in 2011, where she examined five major genres of new media adopted and adapted by the activist.

In her latest article, “The Next Decade in Internet Time”(2012) , published in Information, Communication & Society, Lievrouw proposed three areas for studying new media in the next decade:  tools, practices, and social arrangements, which were also defined by Lievrouw and Livingstone as three components of new media as infrastructures in their book “Handbook of New Media” (2002). As editors of this book, Lievrouw and Livingstone organized the chapters based on these three elements. In one of the book reviews I read (Caristi, D. (2005). New Communication Technologies and Society. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. December: p.510-512), the reviewer wrote “the book’s emphasis is not the technology but on the effects technology has on society and the effects society has on the technology” (p. 511). It echoes the statement Lievrouw made in her chapter “New Media Design and Development” (that’s what we read for this week), that determination and contingency are interdependent rather than independent when studying the new media development.     
Besides, I found a Youtube video, where Professor Lievrouw gave a talk titled as “Online Oppositional Media” discussing the relationship between the ownership of facilities and of content in new media studies (You can start to watch from 4:20 to 39:50).

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