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Reviews of Status Update

Academic Journals

Canadian Journal of Communication - Maggie MacAulay - January 2015 [PDF]
"Status Update offers important insights that enrich our understanding of both the ideology that propels social media and the economic imperatives underpinning promotional culture. It also makes an especially valuable contribution to theories of audiences and publicity."

International Journal of Communication - Ellen Johanna Helsper - 2014 [PDF]
"This book will be an eye opener for many in the tech industry, providing evidence for sexism and elitism in social media production. It is also a rich resource for journalists and policy makers interested in the history of digital and social media and associated societal changes. Those who have lived near or worked with the Californian tech scene in particular should find this an accessible book, while outsiders will find sections that shed a strong light on practices that are largely ignored within both academia and the industry. No other book addresses the same combination of design and everyday interactions with and use of social media."

Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly - Jason Tham - Summer 2014 [paywall]
"This book does a great service in widening our horizon by providing a critical-cultural lens to understanding and critiquing the self-promotion phenomenon in Web 2.0... In just under 140 characters,Status Update is a recommended book for it facilitates conversations around tech entrepreneurs, social media, and self-promotion. #mustread"

Popular Press

Inside Higher Ed -- Barbara Fister - September 4, 2014
"A fascinating ethnographic account of Silicon Valley culture and how entwined that culture is in the design of the social media platforms that we use daily."

The Chronicle of Higher Education - Ted Striphas - August 11, 2014
"Alice E. Marwick and danah boyd are among the finest interpreters of the technological changes we have been experiencing. They point to the first decade of the 21st century as the time when, in the wake of the dot-com bust, the tech industry rebooted around social media. And they chronicle how people are coming to navigate a world dizzy with opportunities for self-presentation and interaction online. Along the way, they manage to defuse some of the panic surrounding recent changes, taking aim at concerned parents, plucky teens, hurried journalists, aspiring celebrities, hopeful entrepreneurs, and others who simply assume social media is either a ticket to the big time or an express elevator to hell."

The New Statesman - Helen Lewis - April 15, 2014
"Very little changes in human nature, and it is always easier to blame our gadgets than ourselves."

Times Higher Education Supplement -- Finola Kerrigan (Book of the Week) - February 6, 2014
"A must-read for anyone interested in the culture of the tech world and in the techniques of status-building in contemporary digital society."

Financial Times -- Ravi Mattu - January 15, 2014
"Marwick makes a compelling case that the rhetoric does not always match the reality, particularly when it comes to social media."

Public Books -- Melissa Aronczyk - January 6, 2014
"If Marwick is both seduced and repelled by the tech scene, this tension gives her more traction in her critique. Because she loves this world, she is sensitive to its contradictions. She is respectful but clear-eyed in her takedowns - authenticity, egalitarianism, and entrepreneurial success are among her targets - and her greatest insights lie in this ambivalence."

Critical Margins -- Kevin Eagan - December 12, 2013
"The book is well-written and serves as a sociological record of a time we might later discover is more of a blip in history, rather than a time of great social change and upheaval. For that reason, the book is well worth a read."

Science -- Bill Dutton - November 22, 2013
"Status Update provides a useful critique of a youthful, male culture of celebrity that pervades the social media scene."

New York Review of Books -- Sue Halpern - November 7, 2013
"[Marwick is] a keen ethnographer of Silicon Valley."

Kirkus Reviews - November 4, 2013
"The author brilliantly equates tech-world ideals with the incremental undermining of women's advancement in the field. A self-admitted technological enthusiast, Marwick is a lively, vivacious instructor... Skillful spadework on the underpinnings of a thriving Internet community."

The New York Times -- Walter Kirn - November 1, 2013
Kirn really didn't like the book. There's not a single positive quote in the entire review. The NYT gave it Editor's Choice anyway.


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