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Communities in Cyberspace Hardcover – Feb 10 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (Feb. 10 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415191394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415191395
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 18.4 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 762 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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This collection of thought-provoking essays bridges the gap between textbook and anthology as it explores several of the key issues of online community. The topics for discussion are grouped into four primary areas: determining the concept of identity in an environment where individuals cannot be seen; ordering and controlling a social environment where the tools of control are severely limited compared with those of the physical world; understanding the structure and dynamics of online communities; and using cybercommunity as the basis for collective action.

There's much here to provoke discussion, including the idea that social control in cyberspace is largely in keeping with medieval social norms, and the argument that cyberspace doesn't eliminate the consideration of racial identity but rather alters the way in which racial identify is judged (or misjudged). This is not a collection that hesitates to challenge long-standing assumptions. Editors Smith and Kollock have gathered contributions from scholars holding widely diverse viewpoints as they question both the "legitimacy" of cybercommunity and the methods of its operation. Although the authors do come to a consensus that cyberspace does house true communities, they reveal some surprises in the ways those cybercommunities differ from geographical ones. -- Elizabeth Lewis

Review

'If this volume were a restaurant or a hotel, it would deserve "five stars".' -- Rebecca G ADams, Contemporary Sociology, November 1999 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

By A Customer on Jan. 20 2001
Format: Paperback
This book covers four main areas in regards to online communities: identity, social order and control, community structure and dynamics, and collective action.
Like many other texts on community, this book tends to focus on older technologies, i.e. Usenet, and MUDs/MOOs. That said, it contains a lot of good analysis done in these areas, and can provide good background for writing about online community. Note that the articles tend to be from the perspective of sociology. The strongest articles, in my opinion, were chapter 2, "Identity and deception in the virtual community," chapter 7, "Virtual communities as communities: Net surfers don't ride alone," and chapter 10, "The promise and peril of social action in cyberspace."
If you are interested in building a community or just in the ideas of online communities, this is probably not the best book for you -- it's pretty academic. Check out Jenny Preece's _Online Communities: Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability_ as an alternative.
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By Joe on March 17 2000
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to this book because my enlightened sociology prof used it as a text for our discussions of sociology and cyberspace.
Some intellectually stimulating articles, like Jodi O'Brien's discussion of gender. It was very stimulating . . . However, the book was far too focused on issues relating to North America and the West generally. What about the rest of the world?
Some sections were extremely dull. This is exciting stuff, why must people pervert it into intellectual cheeseburgers?
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Format: Paperback
Very good articles above important aspects of virtual communities like identity, gender, sociability and other stuff written by people that really knows about the subject, famous researchers. If you are a researcher, you'll love it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A good resource for writers and academics Jan. 20 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book covers four main areas in regards to online communities: identity, social order and control, community structure and dynamics, and collective action.
Like many other texts on community, this book tends to focus on older technologies, i.e. Usenet, and MUDs/MOOs. That said, it contains a lot of good analysis done in these areas, and can provide good background for writing about online community. Note that the articles tend to be from the perspective of sociology. The strongest articles, in my opinion, were chapter 2, "Identity and deception in the virtual community," chapter 7, "Virtual communities as communities: Net surfers don't ride alone," and chapter 10, "The promise and peril of social action in cyberspace."
If you are interested in building a community or just in the ideas of online communities, this is probably not the best book for you -- it's pretty academic. Check out Jenny Preece's _Online Communities: Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability_ as an alternative.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Really good one for researchers July 11 2001
By Raquel da Cunha Recuero - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Very good articles above important aspects of virtual communities like identity, gender, sociability and other stuff written by people that really knows about the subject, famous researchers. If you are a researcher, you'll love it.
11 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Lost in (cyber)space? March 17 2000
By Joe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was introduced to this book because my enlightened sociology prof used it as a text for our discussions of sociology and cyberspace.
Some intellectually stimulating articles, like Jodi O'Brien's discussion of gender. It was very stimulating . . . However, the book was far too focused on issues relating to North America and the West generally. What about the rest of the world?
Some sections were extremely dull. This is exciting stuff, why must people pervert it into intellectual cheeseburgers?


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