A107.  Rice, R. E. & Fuller, R. P. (2013). Theoretical perspectives in the study of communication and the Internet. In W. Dutton (Ed.), Oxford handbook of Internet studies (Chapter 13, pp. 353-377). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

This chapter rviews the major theoretical approaches to studying social aspects of the Internet during the period 2000-2009. We used an iterative, emergent, inductive, consensual form of content analysis similar to the grounded theory method of inquiry. Our analysis of 315 social science articles from 46 journals identified a wide variety of primary and secondary theories, and revealed 27 theory themes within six global theory themes. The most frequent global theme was social relations, followed by media implications/use & understanding, participation, societal, media attributes, and general theory frameworks. Although much of the early Internet research was criticized as being a-theoretical we can see that a wide range of primary and secondary theories, within more inclusive primary and global themes, are being applied to understanding social and communicative aspects of the Internet.

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See also detailed Appendix at http://www.comm.ucsb.edu/faculty/rrice/RiceFullerOxfordHandbookInternetTheory2012Appendix.pdf