1st Edition

Communities in Cyberspace

Edited By Peter Kollock, Marc Smith Copyright 1999
    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    This wide-ranging introductory text looks at the virtual community of cyberspace and analyses its relationship to real communities lived out in today's societies. Issues such as race, gender, power, economics and ethics in cyberspace are grouped under four main sections and discussed by leading experts:

    * identity
    * social order and control
    * community structure and dynamics
    * collective action.

    This topical new book displays how the idea of community is being challenged and rewritten by the increasing power and range of cyberspace. As new societies and relationships are formed in this virtual landscape, we now have to consider the potential consequences this may have on our own community and societies.

    Clearly and concisely written with a wide range of international examples, this edited volume is an essential introduction to the sociology of the internet. It will appeal to students and professionals, and to those concerned about the changing relationships between information technology and a society which is fast becoming divided between those on-line and those not.

    Part one INTRODUCTION 1 Communities in cyberspace Part two IDENTITY 2 Identity and deception in the virtual community 3 Reading race online: discovering racial identity in Usenet discussions 4 Writing in the body: gender (re)production in online Interaction Part three SOCIAL ORDER AND CONTROL 5 Hierarchy and power: social control in cyberspace 6 Problems of conflict management in virtual Communities Part four COMMUNITY STRUCTURE AND DYNAMICS 7 Virtual communities as communities: Net surfers don’t ride alone 8 Invisible crowds in cyberspace: mapping the social structure of the Usenet 9 The economies of online cooperation: gifts and public goods in cyberspace Part five COLLECTIVE ACTION 10 The promise and the peril of social action in cyberspace: ethos, delivery, and the protests over MarketPlace and the Clipper chip 11 Electronic homesteading on the rural frontier: Big Sky Telegraph and its community 12 Cyberspace and disadvantaged communities: the Internet as a tool for collective action


    Marc A. Smith is a doctoral student in sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Peter Kollock is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Both have lectured widely on the history and development of cyberspace.