Document (#35289)

Author
Song, F.W.
Title
Virtual communities : bowling alone, online together
Imprint
New York : Lang
Year
2009
Pages
XVII, 178 S
Isbn
978-1-433-10396-4 *
978-1-433-10395-7
Series
Digital formations ; Vol. 54
Abstract
Does contemporary Internet technology strengthen civic engagement and democratic practice? The recent surge in online community participation has become a cultural phenomenon enmeshed in ongoing debates about the health of American civil society. But observations about online communities often concentrate on ascertaining the true nature of community and democracy, typically rehearsing familiar communitarian and liberal perspectives. This book seeks to understand the technology on its own terms, focusing on how the technological and organizational configurations of online communities frame our contemporary beliefs and assumptions about community and the individual. It analyzes key structural features of thirty award-winning online community websites to show that while the values of individual autonomy, egalitarianism, and freedom of speech dominate the discursive content of these communities, the practical realities of online life are clearly marked by exclusivity and the demands of commercialization and corporate surveillance. Promises of social empowerment are framed within consumer and therapeutic frameworks that undermine their democratic efficacy. As a result, online communities fail to revolutionize the civic landscape because they create cultures of membership that epitomize the commodification of community and public life altogether.
Content
Inhalt: The virtual community -- A high-stakes battle : the context of virtual communities -- A cultural topography of virtual communities : the rough terrain of autonomy and control -- An alternative framework for understanding virtual communities -- The institutional landscape : the market of virtual communities -- The evolving landscape of virtual communities -- Technology, the self, and the market : eyeing the horizons of a brave new democracy -- Epilogue
Theme
Internet
Field
Kommunikationswissenschaften
COMPASS
Online social networks
Internet / Social aspects
Communities / Philosophy
Computers and civilization
Information technology / Social aspects
DDC
302.30285
LCC
HM742

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