• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Virtual Culture marks a significant intervention in the current debate about access and control in cybersociety exposing the ways in which the Internet and other computer-mediated communication technologies are being used by disadvantaged and marginal groups - such as gay men, women, fan communities and the homeless - for social and political change. The contributors to this book apply a range of theoretical perspecitves derived from communication studies, sociology and anthropology to demonstrate the theoretical and practical possibilities for cybersociety as an identity-structured space.

Civil Society, Political Economy, and the Internet
Civil society, political economy, and the internet

One can discern three locations of arguments concerning the politics of the Internet as a system of communication. The first is that of the Internet itself: cybersociety, so to speak, the users of the Internet as they self-articulate the politics of their usage of the Net across the Net. Here one finds an effusive enthusiasm for the political implications of the exchange of information on the Net. As enthusiastic as it is naive, this line of thought argues that the computer-mediated communication of the Internet is necessarily anarchical, decentralized, and anti-state in its nature. For support arguments in this vein point to the nearly instantaneous nature of e-mail, newsgroup, and Web access, ...

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