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authors Shields, R. (ed.)
year 1996
title Cultures of Internet: Virtual Spaces, Real Histories, Living Bodies
source Sage, London
summary The Internet is here but have we caught up with all its implications for culture and everyday life? This collection of original articles on the development of computer-mediated communications brings together many of the most accomplished writers on the Net and cyberspace. Cultures of Internet examines the arrival of e-mail and online discussion groups, and considers the prospect of an `online world' - a playground for virtual bodies in which identities are flexible, swappable and disconnected from real-world bodies. The book traces the rise of virtual conviviality and how it supplements the physical encounters between actors in public spaces that are abandoned to the homeless. The book is distinguished by a critical and social tone. For the first time, it presents systematic descriptions of the development of the Internet, its history in the military-industrial complex, the role of state policies leading, for example, to the creation of Minitel, and the building of information `superhighways'. It also explores the development of this technology as a commercialized leisure form and a forum for underground political organization and critique. Accessible and lively, the book draws in contributions from Europe, North America and developing countries. It will appeal to students of sociology, cultural studies and computer studies.
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