"Highly recommended" : 'Les Liaisons Numériques' selon Global Sociology (14 mars 2011)

Le blog américain Global Sociology publie une riche recension de l’ouvrage d’Antonio A. Casilli Les liaisons numériques. Vers une nouvelle sociabilité ? (Seuil). Communauté, individualisme, espace public, corps et réseaux sociaux : les notions analysées dans le livre de Casilli resonnent avec les débats contemporaines autour de la vie privée, la stratification sociale et l’accès à l’information.

The weak ties between members of virtual communities and social networks fill structural holes and give members access to resources that they would not have access to, if they were limited to bonding capital and to off-line preexisting relationships. And once structural holes are filled, information circulates more easily. On a larger, and more political, scale, this is what Wikipedia does: not so much revealing secrets but making information circulate, and, at the same time, exposing the fact that traditional media operate more like the little boxes of bonding relationships (and in the little box, you have political and media elites). In this sense, online “friends” (as in “Facebook friends”) are conduits of information more than they are friends (in the traditional sense). I have to say that I use my Twitter timeline, in part, as a source of information (along with my newsreader) and no longer television. It may feel, at times, that the book is a bit all over the place. It is. And I think it is deliberate. The entire book is not so much a study as an exploration of the diversity of ties and of the various forms that sociability takes in the context of Web 2.0. It is rich in examples and case studies, along with the more traditional social-scientific research. It is also highly readable and the numerous “stories” make it quite entertaining. As I mentioned above, I do hope it gets translated in English soon. Highly recommended (for French-reading audiences, that is).