|Sample Reviews of Interpersonal
Read reviews from such premier journalists and authors as Hodding Carter III, Patricia Raybon, Theodore Roszak, Everette E. Dennis and others. Click here
Grounding his understanding of media technology ... allows Bugeja to argue as a moral philosopher. Other chapters show him as a cultural forensic scientist. Interpersonal Divide follows the trajectory of work by Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, and Neil Postman. ... [H]e brings freshness to his media critique that yields insights. Click here
Cell phones, the Internet and other communication tools have eliminated the wall between home and office, the private and public. And to far too many of us, they've made electronic games and chat rooms more appealing and seductive than the real. As a result, the technologically connected are those most imperiled by what former Ohio University professor Michael Bugeja calls the "interpersonal divide." Click here
Moines (IA) Register
Perhaps no previous scholar has synthesized the ways media technologies are harming a sense of community, especially in such a compact book. ... Perhaps [Bugeja] ought to give himself credit for implanting optimism in at least some of his readers, because his book, if read carefully, is empowering. Click here
|Journal of Communication
By eroding interpersonal skills, the mass media have undermined community in America, according to Michael Bugeja. The main contribution of his book is to place some familiar concerns about, and fresh examples of, electronic media's negative influences on self and community within a universal ethical framework and approach to individual development. ...
The book's main theoretical contribution emerges from Bugeja's critique of Marshall McLuhan's concept of technology as extensions of human senses. Bugeja responds that media divide rather than extend consciousness by putting the user in two places at once, in a way that a mobile phone user's attention is split between her location and the place she is calling. Thus, in using media, we are not empowered by projecting the self but diminished by experiencing a split in identity. ...
The book or chapters can be used in undergraduate courses to offer a critical, humanist perspective on communication technology, or cyberculture. Each chapter ends with thought-provoking suggestions for journal exercises, discussion, and papers that aim to spur reflection and dialogue on technology's influence.
|Journalism and Mass
Overall, Interpersonal Divide is an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. The combination of its accessible writing style and the inclusion of journal exercises, discussion ideas, and suggested readings make the book a good candidate for inclusion in an upper-class or graduate-level seminar. Bugeja leaves the reader with quite a bit to think about and to investigate further. Click here
The book is well-written and thoroughly documented. At the end of each chapter, he provides a series of journal exercises that are cumulative and that reiterate the main points of his thesis in personal terms. He also provides discussion/paper ideas based on a short list of relevant texts. These features make Interpersonal Divide ideal for a college-level ethics text, but also provide a starting point for an ongoing examination of what is necessary to regain our place in our communities and to reclaim our humanity. It's an important book, one that should be read by anyone who has an interest in making the real world a better place. Click here
News and Observer
Bugeja makes a reasoned case that what is wrong isn't technology itself, but our inability to moderate what we do to reasonable levels. He argues that the basis of human interaction is face-to-face contact, a network of relationships that go into the building of a healthy community. ... "Interpersonal Divide" is a powerful and damning indictment whose advice on moderate technology use (ask where you need it, ask why you're doing it, and so on) is sound. ... Click here
|Southern Communication Journal
Readers will benefit from the perspective offered by chapters 4 and 5 on the development and impact of the telegraph and the Internet respectively on our culture. The chapters give readers a sense of perspective into how our culture has become so enmeshed within communication technology. Chapter 6 provides astute analysis as Bugeja tempers the exuberance of McLuhan's foundational theories of media, like that of the Global Village, with a modern understanding informed by new technology. ...
A benefit of Bugeja's book is that it calls upon readers to think, to write, to discuss and to reflect about the issues it raises. At the end of each chapter Bugeja provides prompts and questions that allow readers to engage with and challenge these and other issues through reflective writing and discussion. ... Interpersonal Divide is suited to senior undergraduates and graduates in speech communication, media and technology, journalism, rhetoric, and cultural studies.
|Student Affairs Online
Michael Bugeja, a journalism professor at Iowa State University, is a prominent critic of the role of technology in society and among college student populations. In his book Interpersonal Divide, Bugeja (2005a) discussed the effects of technology and mass media on social interaction. ... Click here
Michael Bugeja's Interpersonal Divide is a book of concerned prescription. An accomplished poet, an ethicist and a journalism professor, Bugeja aims to assess "changes resulting from the Technology Revolution of the 1990s." He's careful to note at the start of this admirably clear volume that he has not written a book of "social panic." But he has written one of social high anxiety. Click here
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