I introduce this double issue, showing first how the articles conjoin global perspectives with fine-grained attention to specific communication venues vis-à-vis critical theory, politics, religion, children and youth, mobile technologies, and ICT4D. Our contributors further argue against technological determinism in multiple ways, offering instead far more sophisticated understandings of how technology, material factors, and diverse ethical, social, political and cultural – i.e. human – factors interact. Finally, the normative dimensions and trajectories of the contributions counter positivist notions of technological instrumentalism (technology as 'value free') and likewise foreground multiple ethical foundations and ethically informed approaches. These accounts thus provide both focused explorations of contemporary research findings and trajectories in specific domains while also tracing out larger thematics in communication and technology.