Internet and Society: Community 2009


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Lecture Slides for Internet and Society course at the University of Edinburgh on understanding the analysis of community and internet (amd mobile etc), using ideas from studies of CMC, social network studies, social capital etc

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Internet and Society: Community 2009

  1. 1. Community Internet and Society 2008
  2. 2. So far <ul><li>Technology and society - sociotechnical network </li></ul><ul><li>Information society and Network Society theories </li></ul><ul><li>How was the Internet created, how did cultures of creators count, innovation commons </li></ul><ul><li>Who uses the internet, social inclusion and the digital divide </li></ul>
  3. 3. What Next?
  4. 4. Outline <ul><li>CMC – Computer Mediated Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Online communities </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual worlds 1 </li></ul><ul><li>Identity online </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>Some theoretical ideas </li></ul><ul><li>ICTs in everyday life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Local communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Neworked individualism </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Technology of community </li></ul><ul><li>Community identity </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Worlds 2 </li></ul>
  5. 5. Key Ideas <ul><li>Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>Online Identity </li></ul><ul><li>Network approaches </li></ul><ul><li>Social Capital </li></ul><ul><li>Virtuality and virtual community </li></ul><ul><li>Networked individualism </li></ul>
  6. 6. Communication and Society <ul><li>Communication technology allows people to form and sustain social relationships, be they of co-operation or control. </li></ul><ul><li>Changing the manner and ease by which individuals and groups communicate alters the information flows and thus the social relations in a community. </li></ul><ul><li>Those changes will depend on the existing relations </li></ul>
  7. 7. Communication and Society <ul><li>Communicative acts (a) unfold within concrete historical and socio-cultural contexts; (b) refer to the interaction of people who are situated within particular place in a complex configuration of relationships (eg. groups); (c) involve the exchange of information or messages the construction and interpretation of which occur within a shared context of symbolic meanings (eg. culture); and (d) create or ‘introduce’ new contexts or dimensions of discourse that help shape or alter the texture of social reality.(Georgoudi and Rosnow, 1985), </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Georgoudi and Rosnow, 1985, The Emergence of Contextualism, J. of Communication , 35, 7-88, quoted in Fulk et al. 1992, 9) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. CMC: Computer mediated communication - history <ul><li>Phone vs F2F </li></ul><ul><li>Email and BBS (Bulletin Board System) </li></ul><ul><li>One2one -> many2many </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Is CMC good for work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced inhibitions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flaming, Polarisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>(Social) psychological theories </li></ul><ul><li>How does CMC influence interpersonal relationships? </li></ul>
  9. 9. CMC 2 <ul><li>The social presence model (1970s) </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>F2F ideal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social norms not apparent - CMC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ CMC may represent a more intrinsically ‘social’ medium of communication then apparently ‘richer’ context of face to face interaction, and one that gives fuller rein to fundamentally social psychological factors” (Spears and Lea, 1992) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The cuelessness model </li></ul><ul><ul><li>CMC should be colder, more task oriented, less compromise - not the case </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduced social cues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open, uninhibited polarised, - ‘risky shift. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>De-individuation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Depersonalisation/Attention Focus Shift </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased Equality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many faults </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. CMC 3 <ul><li>SIDE model (Social Identity and DE-individuation) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on “social identity” from informational cues etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>v. Individual identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Outcome depends on which is more important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-attention - heightens relevant identity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal identity - polarization, task </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group identity - consensus etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What sort of social organisation emerges with CMC? </li></ul><ul><li>How much are these behaviours a function of particular technology? </li></ul>
  11. 11. Identity <ul><li>Sherry Turkle </li></ul><ul><li>New identity - no-one knows you are a dog </li></ul><ul><li>No ethnicity, age, gender, looks, disability etc </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avatars - graphical representations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Fluid identify </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple identity </li></ul><ul><li>A Place to Change ourselves </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual self </li></ul><ul><li>People go to explore themselves and work though problems. </li></ul><ul><li>Criticism : ignores reality of life </li></ul>
  12. 12. Internet: Community or Consumption <ul><li><20% of internet users ‘participatory users’ </li></ul><ul><li>80% shop online </li></ul><ul><li>Is the Internet a social space? </li></ul><ul><li>What does it mean to say ‘community online’, or ‘online communities’? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the internet actually support a community? </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is community? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are benefits of community? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. Communities, Organisations and Society <ul><li>A place where “people create for themselves shared meanings, symbols, rituals, and cognitive schema which allow them to create and maintain meaningful interactions among themselves and in relation to the world beyond their small society” (Argyris and Schon 1978) </li></ul><ul><li>Heterogenous and dynamic </li></ul><ul><li>Formal and informal relations and rules </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Moral’ and practical benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Individual benefits; Social benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Tensions - no chocolate box village! </li></ul><ul><li>Need Mechanisms for support and maintenance of community </li></ul>
  14. 15. Community ideas <ul><li>E.g. </li></ul><ul><li>Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>Respect </li></ul><ul><li>Loyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Truthfulness </li></ul><ul><li>Civility </li></ul><ul><li>Information, money, security etc </li></ul>
  15. 16. Online community online <ul><li>BBNs and The Well - Reingold </li></ul><ul><li>Communities of interest and choice, not geography (old academic networks) </li></ul><ul><li>Support, reinforce minority ideas - like cities, create critical mass for a subculture </li></ul><ul><li>Ideal community </li></ul><ul><li>But </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Often poor social identity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anonymity and fluid personal identity - flaming etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active members and lurkers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy to leave, easy to expel. Easy to start new community </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Community Online <ul><li>Creating communities from nothing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical and social mechanisms to create ‘community’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>FAQ, netiquette, moderators, mentors, technical controls </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Archives, tracking use, control of posting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>How to move from early homogenous user culture to mass use? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Psuedo-communities </li></ul><ul><li>Thick and thin communities </li></ul><ul><li>Community needs responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Does this happen? </li></ul>
  17. 18. Virtual Worlds and Cyberspace <ul><li>MUDs, MOO </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Role playing games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single multi user machines (Nerds) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Digital Cities - DDS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Activitst Artists in Amsterdam </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Cyberspace - “where the bank keeps your money” W. Gibson (Neuromancer ) </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Reality - a parallel ‘space’ - a re-creation and reinvention of laws of nature -> and norms of society </li></ul>
  18. 21. Community worries <ul><li>50s - suburbs, end of community etc </li></ul><ul><li>Social Capital argument </li></ul><ul><li>How and why we take part in ‘society’? </li></ul><ul><li>How is society constituted? </li></ul><ul><li>First - Social Network approaches </li></ul>
  19. 22. Network Approaches <ul><li>See society and social relations emerging from individual ties/bonds/connections. </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom-up analysis </li></ul>
  20. 23. Network approaches <ul><li>Strength of ties </li></ul><ul><li>Power in ties, status etc </li></ul><ul><li>Use of ties </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of ties: e.g. trust. </li></ul><ul><li>Centrality/marginality of individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Embeddedness </li></ul><ul><li>Quality of network: dense, sparse, cliques, closure </li></ul><ul><li>Bridging ties </li></ul><ul><li>Structural Holes </li></ul><ul><li>Network structure effect on contagion of ideas/innovations/information </li></ul><ul><li>Does not help much with norms and values </li></ul>
  21. 24. Network approaches <ul><li>Close, dense, closed networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>High trust, dependency, reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong Norms, sanctions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Used for strong moral, financial etc support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Isolating </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Open networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Free Information exchange </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weak ties </li></ul></ul>
  22. 25. Weak Ties Theory <ul><li>Mark Granovetter </li></ul><ul><li>Social relations embedded in social network </li></ul><ul><li>Strength of Weak Ties theory </li></ul><ul><li>Strong ties in work class </li></ul><ul><li>Weak ties in middle class </li></ul><ul><li>Weak ties give a access to important economic information (jobs) </li></ul>
  23. 26. Bridging <ul><li>Old: centrality in dense network source of power </li></ul><ul><li>New: Power comes from bridging between poorly connected networks (e.g.Burt) </li></ul><ul><li>Brokers of innovation and power </li></ul><ul><li>Source of innovation </li></ul>
  24. 27. Social Capital <ul><li>Coleman, Bourdieu, Putnam,( Burt) </li></ul><ul><li>Value of social relations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How we use social ties </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the emergent society features </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social capital can be accumulated </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bourdieu :Personal benefits from rich networks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those without connections lose out </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Coleman </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social norms as social capital </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dense interconnected networks </li></ul></ul>
  25. 28. Social Capital 2 <ul><li>Putnam ‘Bowling alone’ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced participation in civil society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Church, bowling clubs etc) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Home-centred, electronic media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduction in civic norms, reduced community trust etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduced political participation - > Week7/8 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual relationships build to create is social capital of a community. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bonding capital, bridging capital </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Loosing Rich, thick community </li></ul><ul><li>Skeptical about Internet </li></ul><ul><li>What might the Internet mean for Social Capital? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Individual, community </li></ul></ul>
  26. 29. Internet in everyday life <ul><li>Early fears that Internet use and virtual/online communities isolate people from ‘real communities’ - Kraut - Putnam </li></ul><ul><li>Early studies: Users Withdraw, become less social etc (distopian) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Early adopters, short time users. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explosion in commercial Internet </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of websites,mailing lists, ecommerce (Amazon recommendations etc) ebay, easyjet, Tesco online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Never have to leave the home </li></ul></ul>
  27. 30. Community Online Projects <ul><li>Inspiration from early BBSs </li></ul><ul><li>Political concern </li></ul><ul><li>Reinvigorate communities </li></ul><ul><li>->digital divide </li></ul><ul><li>Give computers to everyone in a place </li></ul><ul><li>Train in skills, support civic organisations </li></ul><ul><li>See what happens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nothing much at first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Engaged people more engaged </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>->politic/social movements </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 31. Discussion of papers <ul><li>Wellman et al findings </li></ul><ul><li>What we use community for? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How is community constituted today? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Networked individualism </li></ul><ul><li>Actually greater participation in community </li></ul>
  29. 32. Social Technologies <ul><li>Created by users to satisfy own community/communication needs </li></ul><ul><li>Successful configurations diffuse rapidly </li></ul><ul><li>Wide choice of tools to support particular types of sociality and community. But not deterministic! </li></ul><ul><li>Email (lists) </li></ul><ul><li>Bulletin board (yahoo groups etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion list (polarisation) open, moderated, closed. </li></ul><ul><li>Chat, IM, Virtual Presence </li></ul><ul><li>Webpage - present self (complete control) (podcast ) </li></ul>
  30. 33. Social Technologies <ul><li>Web log (Blog)- controlled interactivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blogrolls; Political, personal, technical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generally for small ‘audience’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social Networking sites </li></ul><ul><li>Wikis - collective writing </li></ul><ul><li>Open source development </li></ul><ul><li>Many ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ communities use many of these. </li></ul><ul><li>New communities both real and virtual </li></ul><ul><li>Future: We must allow communities to appropriate and innovate technology </li></ul>
  31. 34. Virtual Community Identity? <ul><li>Virtual communities </li></ul><ul><li>Development of community awareness/identity </li></ul><ul><li>Investment in maintenance of community </li></ul><ul><li>Social action outside? </li></ul><ul><li>Rich community? </li></ul><ul><li>Online communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nationalism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Religion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pedophiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Terrorism? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Network society Support networks </li></ul></ul>
  32. 35. New Virtual Worlds: <ul><li>Merge PC games and MOO/MUD ,graphical </li></ul><ul><li>(MMORPG) Everquest, World of Warcraft, tribes, exploration </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life Habbo Hotel- colonization, static, building, </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring or building? Your choice. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial </li></ul><ul><li>Affective, play, creative </li></ul><ul><li>Designers set the ground rules, users create the society </li></ul>
  33. 36. Virtual Society? <ul><li>Beyond community? 7 million people Virtual societies (courts, government?) </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual economies </li></ul><ul><li>Links to ‘real world’ - economy, personal life, murder. </li></ul>
  34. 37. Conclusions and Questions <ul><li>Integral part of social life </li></ul><ul><li>Networked Individualism </li></ul><ul><li>New communities? </li></ul><ul><li>Social capital in online environments? </li></ul><ul><li>Towards real virtual communities </li></ul><ul><li>Puralisim or fragmentation;virtual class. </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual organisations - new work organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Future: social movements, political movements </li></ul><ul><li>Engaged and non-engaged </li></ul>
  35. 38. Network methods <ul><li>Nodes and Connection </li></ul><ul><li>Map network </li></ul><ul><li>Metrics for relationships </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ strength of relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Power direction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use of relationship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flow of ideas and information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Network qualities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Density </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Centrality of nodes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Marginality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration - </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bridging </li></ul></ul>
  36. 39. Next time: Mobiles <ul><li>Really personal </li></ul><ul><li>Time and Space </li></ul><ul><li>Public-Private </li></ul><ul><li>Blog entry on what mobile means to you </li></ul><ul><li>Look at, maybe edit wiki on “Phones and Fags” </li></ul><ul><li>Add questions to Wiki - we will discuss in class </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Society article </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation : blog entries, wiki questions </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation: Ling et al… </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation: Smart Mobs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read also Wajcman report, any of the books </li></ul></ul><ul><li>More class discussion </li></ul>