Cyberghetto or Cybertopia?: Race, Class, and Gender on the Internet

Cyberghetto or Cybertopia?: Race, Class, and Gender on the Internet

Cyberghetto or Cybertopia?: Race, Class, and Gender on the Internet

Cyberghetto or Cybertopia?: Race, Class, and Gender on the Internet

Synopsis

Computer-mediated communication and cyberculture are dramatically changing the nature of social relationships. Whether cyberspace will simply retain vestiges of traditional communities with hierarchical social links and class-structured relationships or create new egalitarian social networks remains an open question. The chapters in this volume examine the issue of social justice on the Internet by using a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives.

Excerpt

Technological innovations tend to engender debates about social justice. the arrival of the automobile raised questions about the impact of mobility and urbanization on close communal enclaves. the advent of nuclear technology generated debates about the impact of the radical transformation of production techniques on corporate social responsibility. the introduction of the communication technologies of telegraph, radio, and television raised concerns about the decentralization of communal linkages and social isolation. the arrival of the Internet is now raising questions about social justice.

The Internet is undergoing such a fast-paced metamorphosis that any attempt to examine its profile flirts with some risk. There is still a debate whether electronic communities are really tangible communities bound by traditional communal criteria such as explicit group demarcations, governing rules, participatory membership, recognition by external authority, and mechanisms for monitoring behaviors and conflict resolutions. Some have suggested that at best there are only partial manifestations of traditional characteristics in electronic communities. Yet, the evidence indicates that the Internet is dramatically changing the nature of social relationships. Whether cyberspace will simply retain vestiges of traditional communities with similar hierarchical social linkages and class-structured relationships or create new egalitarian social networks remains an open question. Put another way, are we headed toward a cyberghetto or a cybertopia?

Essays in this anthology use a variety of methodological and theoretical perspectives, including historical overview, philosophical speculation, so-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.