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.
Chapter 1: The Internet and its Social Landscape
The Internet and its Social Landscape
Whether it be film, television, radio, the Internet, virtually any medium of communication that relies on technology will at one time or another find itself deemed to be causing a “revolution.” And just as quickly one will find some segments of society in opposition to that revolution.
Such is now the case with the evolution of technologies for computer-mediated communication (CMC), particularly the development of the Internet. Backlash toward these technologies has begun already and some decry the loss of personality that often accompanies the mediation of communication via computer; others lament the amount of time taken away from face-to-face interaction by technologies that require expertise, undivided attention, or even appear addictive. Clifford Stoll ...