This chapter is dedicated to analyse the fabrication of networked socialities, that is to address the complex interweaving of technologies of information and communication and the manifold instantiations of sociality. Networked socialities are digital formations being produced out of the intertwining of social logics outside and inside digital spaces and society. Such contribution is organized as follows: first, it will present the theoretical frame necessary to grasp the fabrication of sociologies in our information age, drawing on some concepts elaborated by the social studies of science and technology, together with the studies of the global digital worlds. Then, it will highlight the analytical fruitfulness of this perspective by describing some digital formations, such as social network sites, virtual communities of practice, and electronic markets. Finally, it will discuss the effects and the implications of such fabrication as a re-configuration of social, the emerging post-social relationships as well as the increasing fragility of knowledge societies.
The Mutual Constitution Of Technology And Society
Information and communication technologies represent a challenge to the vocabulary of social science. Actually, most sociological analyses tend to overemphasize the role of technologies, thus risking determinism, or the use of a repertoire of concepts ineffective to analyze their re-defining effect in shaping the social.1 In this respect, a more interesting approach can be devised by looking at the social studies of science and technology (Wajcman, 2002; 2006). This might help the analysis of the complex imbrications of technology and society, the understanding of the fabrication of sociality by the information and communication technologies, also in connection with the debate on knowledge societies. It will also include a set of issues related to how knowledge practices contribute to the making of the social.