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Pippa Norris

In: Society Online: The Internet in Context

Chapter 2: The Bridging and Bonding Role of Online Communities

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The Bridging and Bonding Role of Online Communities
The bridging and bonding role of online communities
Pippa Norris Harvard University

Along tradition in sociological theory among writers such as Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Tonnïes, and Simmel has been concerned about the loss of community and the weakening of the face-to-face relations of Gemeinschaft, a theme revived recently in the work of Putnam (2000). The role of new communication technologies, especially the internet, has often been regarded as important for this phenomenon either by exacerbating social isolation or by reviving communities ties virtually Contemporary debates about social capital have noted that many local networks and associations strengthen social cohesion, but another darker downside exists in community life (Edwards & Foley, 1998; Portess & Landholt, 1996). To understand this phenomenon, ...

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