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.

Why We Argue about Virtual Community: A Case Study of the Phish.Net Fan Community

Why we argue about virtual community: A case study of the fan community

Scholars attempting to prove that a group of people sharing something online are in fact a “community” are regularly challenged by skeptics of every sort; they are usually criticized as naive techno-utopians drawn in by the hype of emerging technologies and the information age. I have argued and continue to argue, based on my two years working as an ethnographer to an online fan community 50,000 strong, that those youth formed a community which created not only individual benefits for participants but also a group strength which enabled them to alter the routines of the record industry and ...

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