Web Sociology

Web Page Title


Center for the Study of Online Community Communities in Cyberspace. Seeks to present & foster studies that focus on how computers & networks alter people's capacity to form groups, organizations, institutions, and how those social formations are able to serve the collective interests of their members. These social formations are a form of community.
Co-emulation: The Case for a Global Hypernetwork Society By: Shumpei Kumon (Center for Global Communications, International University of Japan). The best way for Japan and other nations of the world to deal with the new phase in our collective history is to mutually 'emulate', that is to co-emulate, others' civilization components that each lacks and that seem to cope with the demands we will jointly face. The next generation of networks are called 'hypernetworks'.
Communities in Cyberspace - New Forms of Social Interaction and Organization This site explores new forms of social organization and the changing concepts of community as social groups develop within computer networks, and examines changes in the nature of personal identity, social organization and the connections between real-world communities and their extensions in cyberspace.
Conceptualizing the Internet This author rejects the solution of turning all of cyberspace to a private enterprise which would prevent overuse in order to maximize efficiency and thus profit. The main reason being that in cyberspace information is not scarce - there's no danger of all of the cyberspace being used up.
Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age A statement that represents the cumulative wisdom and innovation of many dozens of people. It is based primarily on the thoughts of Ms. Esther Dyson, Mr. George Gilder, Dr. George Keyworth, and Dr. Alvin Toffler. Presented by The Progress & Freedom Foundation.
CyberCapitalism: Liberty or Equality in Cyberspace As the popularity of the Internet grows exponentially, many are raising concerns that access will be limited only to those with the ability to pay for. Fray argues that the fears about the commodification of the Internet are terribly misplaced, because the Internet has always been a commodity. He believes that inequality is 'the natural outcome of human life' and that we must make the choice between liberty and equality.
Design Principles for Online Communities He argues that the key challenges the Internet community will face in the future are not technological, but rather sociological: the challenges of social interaction and social organization.
Effect of Information Technology Innovations on Outer Metropolitan Regions Some people think that information technology will increasingly become a substitute for trip taking, while others see it as a compliment to transportation. This paper examines these arguments through a literature review with model development and numerical experimentation. The conclusion is that substitution effects will be sufficient to induce concentration of new growth in U.S. metropolitan regions far beyond the current "edge city" periphery.
Electronic Communities: Global Village or Cyberbalkans? This paper introduces precise measures of "balkanization" then develops a model of individual knowledge profiles and community affiliation to examine how improved access, search, and screening might fragment interaction. As IT capabilities continue to improve, policy choices we make could put us on more or less attractive paths.
Internet: Bringing order from Chaos This noted technologists tackles questions about how to organize knowledge on the Internet with the aim of making it more genuinely useful. They consider how to simplify finding the information we desire and discuss the best ways to format and display data, so that everyone (including the blind) has maximum access to them. The authors sketch a technological pathway that might take the Internet a step toward realizing the utopian vision of an all-encompassing repository of human knowledge.
Internet and the Ideology of Information Technology He contents that the Internet will become enmeshed in the political and economic dynamics of the 'ideology of information technology'.
Internet as Mass Medium Why have communications researchers, historically concerned with exploring the effects of mass media, nearly ignored the Internet? With 25 million people estimated to be communicating on the Internet, should communication researchers now consider this network of networks a mass medium? Until recently, mass communications researchers have overlooked not only the Internet but the entire field of computer-mediated communication, staying instead with the traditional forms of broadcast and print media that fit much more conveniently into models for appropriate research topics and theories of mass communication.
Internet for Sociologists An article with the immodest ambition of explaining to sociologists why they should take the Internet seriously as a medium of professional communication, and why some sociologists should be specially interested in the Internet (or other computer networks) as social spaces in which to study shifting social relationships in our society. The first part of the article may be specially useful to sociologists who have relatively limited experience with Internet services. The second part discusses sociological uses of the Internet to support research, teaching, and professional communication that could interest readers with significant Internet experiences.
Lost in Cyberspace: A Cultural Geography of Cyberspace People working in the anthropology of space and cultural geography have "fertile territory" to survey in cyberspace. Unlike so many other landscapes, this is one which is being built right before their eyes. Observing how people perceive, locate themselves, find meaning, and identify themselves in cyberspace, may help us understand the analogous processes of how this occurs in 'realspace.' However, cyberspace provides more than a testing ground for existing hypotheses about how social-cultural relations emerge in space. It is a new kind of space that is emerging, and will force the rethinking of old assumptions about place and space.
Next Generation Internet Initiative Concept Paper This paper outlines the NGI high performance network initiative, and discusses the goals, deliverables, benefits, management, and action plan for NGI. Readers can comment on any section of the draft, and comments will be used in the preparation of a final version of the report.
Policy Gateway - Harvard Information Infrastructure Project This site provides links to Internet-based information infrastructure topics: telecommunications and information policy, applications, statistics and much more.
Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies (RCCS) RCCS hopes to foster a web community where students, researchers, and web builders alike can collaborate and share experiences and projects in the area of cyberculture. Recently they added a place where visitors are invited to browse through the research interests and undergoing projects of a number of scholars, researchers, and instructors affiliated directly and indirectly with the field of cyberculture.
Sociology of Cyberspace This is a course about how information technologies affect people. It examines what happens when we get "wired" by going and looking ourselves at what people do on the net.
Virtual Communities: Abort, Retry, Failure?

This is a critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of virtual communities. One of the conclusions is that the likely result of the development of virtual communities through computer-mediated communication (CMC) will be that a hegemonic culture will maintain its dominance. The virtual public sphere brought about by CMC will serve a cathartic role, allowing the public to feel involved rather than to advance actual participation. Citizenship via cyberspace has not proven to be the panacea for the problems of democratic representation.