SCIENCES

The Smartphone Society: Technology, Power, and Resistance in the New Gilded Age

Beacon. Mar. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9780807061688. $24.95. TECH
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Smartphones have become ubiquitous pocket computers shaping society in more ways than one realize, according to Jacobin magazine editor at large Aschoff. In this latest book after The New Prophets of Capital, Aschoff details how smartphones affect society, showing how their rise has led to people being able to document police misconduct, while Twitter allows political leaders to address the public, and a multitude of online dating apps have helped people find partners. The author discusses these societal implications through a left-leaning lens, but readers of all political persuasions can find something relatable here. This is not a historical or business analysis; rather, this work cites research as well as personal stories to show how smartphones have positively and negatively impacted society. In addition to the technology crowd, readers curious about sociology or psychology will enjoy Aschoff’s articulation of how dependent we have become on smartphones.
VERDICT Aschoff introduces a creative and appealing way to discuss societal issues; this book will make readers contemplate their relationship with their phone and their own place in society.

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