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All information current as of 14:15:54 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Virtual Culture : Identity and Communication in Cybersociety

   by Steve Jones

    SAGE Publications
    20 May, 1997


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Editorial description(s):
Not long after William Gibson hit the charts with his cyberpunk fiction, especially the groundbreaking (or Web-busting)
, discussions were buzzing with ideas about how technology affects our culture and our beliefs. The essays that Steven Jones has collected explore cybersociety, online cultures, and their relationship not only to one another but also to traditional societies. The experiences of typically marginalized cultures--"cyberhate," Third World representation, gay identity in cyberspace, and punishment of "virtual offenders"--are also explored, as in Ananda Mitra's essay, "Virtual Commonality: Looking for India on the Internet." Virtual Culture is a cutting-edge book that addresses the effects and defects of discourse and community on the Web.

Book News, Inc.
Communications specialists present 11 essays exploring the nature of social and civic life online, and what it is about life offline that makes so many people so intent on living online. They discuss virtual ideology and the realization of collective principles. the public electronic network and the homeless, gay men and computer communication, virtual community in a telepresence environment, gender and textuality in the cybercultural matrix, and correctional strategies for the virtual offender. Paper edition (unseen), $26.95. -- Copyright © 1999 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description
Virtual Culture provides a unique analysis of a previously undocumented aspect of the cybersociety. Until now, the debate about participation in cyberculture has tended to focus on the ways that certain segments of the population are denied access to communications technologies. By contrast, the contributors to this volume scrutinize the way in which under-represented groupsùgay men, women, and special interest groupsùare exploiting the opportunities that the Internet provides for social and political change. Virtual Culture presents contributions from a range of subject disciplines, including communication, sociology, and anthropology in order to reflect on the diverse paradigms currently engaged in the study of electronic communities and networks. It sets out the definitions, boundaries, and approaches to the studies of these topics while demonstrating the theoretical and practical possibilities for cybersociety as an identity-structured space. Virtual Culture will be required reading for all students of communication, media and technology.

Reader review(s):

Is the Persona a defense or a culprit?, June 23, 2001
This book is essential to understand the concept of persona in cybersociety. It is based on many articles that take examples of exchanges among people on one chat or in one forum, and how these exchanges can be effective as for changing the points of view of the cybernauts, to elaborate a common interest among the participants of the site who may have come together haphazardly or out of mere chance. It also shows how arguments can be effective on others and even push some negative topics into some straits, such as racist points of view that are confronted to arguments the standard racist paticipants have little chance to get across in real society, due to the ghettoisation of ideological groups. This book also shows how one gets onto the Internet, into these forums and chats by deciding on what personae they want to have, persona that may have little to do with the real selves of the persons behind : a male becomes a female, etc. This leads to a serious discussion of crime in such an environment. A crime is the result of the non-respect of a rule set by the webmasters of the site. But it cannot be dealt with as if it were the same � crime � in society. Hence a sexual crime in such an environment has little to do with the same sexual crime in society because it is a virtual crime, a crime that has no reality, no real direct consequences. Anyone can anyway protect themselves against such � agressions � by the personae they choose (some kind of shield that keeps the anonymity of the individuals), and by always being able to log-off, get out of the site. So what is a proper punishment for such � virtual crimes � ? The question is at least extremely complex and such crimes cannot be dealt with by normal courts. So what procedures and what � courts � can exist on the Internet. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Paris Universities II and IX.

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