Brief history of the 'Virtual'

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10Min presentation to Sociology- ISSTI meeting on the 'Virtual'

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  • Brief history of the 'Virtual'

    1. 1. A short history of “the virtual”
    2. 4. 1975 MUD
    3. 5. 1978 BBS
    4. 6. Anonymity <ul><li>> JK Jacobus: Hi … </li></ul>
    5. 7. Anonymity
    6. 8. Avatars
    7. 9. Identity
    8. 13. Academics <ul><li>Psychology of online gaming, BBSs and workplace email </li></ul><ul><li>Social psychology of Computer mediated communication (CMC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>R educed Cues theories etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E nhanced social cues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>E ffects on communities and decision making </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identity in MUDs (e.g. Turkle) </li></ul>
    9. 14. Virtual Community
    10. 15. 1990s Community threats <ul><li>Putman – Bowling Alone, social capital argument </li></ul><ul><li>Trust, social cohesion, social exclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Kraut et al 1997 – reduction in community participation </li></ul><ul><li>Wellman et al 1998 – Reverse. networked individualism </li></ul><ul><li>Social network analysis. Weak tie/strong tie </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Glocalism’ </li></ul><ul><li>I m agined Communities, Third Spaces </li></ul><ul><li>C ommunity online or online community </li></ul>
    11. 17. Cyberspace <ul><li>Where the banks ‘keep’ your money </li></ul>
    12. 18. Virtual Worlds
    13. 21. Information Society theories <ul><li>Surveillance Society </li></ul><ul><li>Digital Economy </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual organisations </li></ul><ul><li>Post-industrial society </li></ul><ul><li>Post-modern society </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Community </li></ul><ul><li>Post-nation-state </li></ul><ul><li>Space of Flows </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible, non-hierarchical </li></ul><ul><li>Death of Distance </li></ul><ul><li>Simulations </li></ul>
    14. 24. 2000s Use of internet <ul><li>USA 76% of adults (Pew May 08) 24% </li></ul><ul><li>UK 67% (OxII 2007) 33% non-users </li></ul>
    15. 28. Gossip
    16. 30. Participation <ul><li>Posting to the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>OIS 2005 </li></ul>
    17. 35. Dense communications: multi-modality
    18. 36. New Virtual <ul><li>Data trails become a shadow of reality </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Real’ virtual spaces, Simulations of ‘reality’ </li></ul><ul><li>e,.g. Maps, databases </li></ul><ul><li>How is real world modelled, controlled, virtual world linked to ‘real’ world? </li></ul>
    19. 41. Virtual Presence
    20. 43. Pure virtual - M ixed reality <ul><li>No longer a minority interest – core to all social, economic and political activities </li></ul><ul><li>Mediated sociality. IT appropriated to facilitate forms of symbolic interaction </li></ul><ul><li>New forms of community, new structures of society </li></ul>
    21. 44. Concerns <ul><li>Dangers – esp children, policy for this. Stalking, bullying </li></ul><ul><li>Relationships between children and parents </li></ul><ul><li>Transferable social capital from purely online domains. </li></ul><ul><li>Generation issues in participation </li></ul><ul><li>Building trust – experience of trust </li></ul><ul><li>Digital exclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Microsocial habits </li></ul><ul><li>How do communities work in age of network individualism, CMC etc </li></ul><ul><li>Global subcultures </li></ul><ul><li>Criminality </li></ul><ul><li>Migration – international networks </li></ul><ul><li>Privacy – changing concepts of privacy </li></ul><ul><li>Privatisation of public space </li></ul><ul><li>Networked organisation of work </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Flexiblity’ </li></ul><ul><li>telework </li></ul><ul><li>New forms of interactions and communities </li></ul><ul><li>New roles for virtual objects and exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>Intimacy and the net </li></ul><ul><li>Memory that never dies </li></ul><ul><li>Future of neighbourhood </li></ul><ul><li>New politics </li></ul>
    22. 45. Implications for methods <ul><li>Stage 1 – study how people interact using electronic media </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 2 – study of ‘virtual’ spaces and relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 3 – electronic comms, organisation, community and identity in everyday life – look at the interactions </li></ul><ul><li>Stage 4 – Normalisation of CMC – any social research includes virtual spaces, sources and relationships </li></ul>
    23. 46. Sources <ul><li>Email exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>Blog posts </li></ul><ul><li>Mailing lists and discussion groups </li></ul><ul><li>Chat and ‘realtime’ online logs </li></ul><ul><li>Video and audio communocations – prerecorded and ‘live’ </li></ul><ul><li>Social network sites </li></ul><ul><li>Microblogging – twitter etc </li></ul><ul><li>Realtime recording of everything </li></ul><ul><li>PO at a distance. </li></ul><ul><li>Huge datasets </li></ul><ul><li>Crowdsourcing </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile logging </li></ul><ul><li>R eal-time questionnaires </li></ul><ul><li>Transparent communities </li></ul><ul><li>Status of texts </li></ul><ul><li>Ethics of PO </li></ul>

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