On-line Utopia or Emperor's new clothes? The virtualization of community through computer-mediated communication


Foster, Derek S.




The Internet and computer mediated communication offer new opportunities for communication studies. On-line individuals are encountering dramatic new possibilities for personal growth. This thesis critically interrogates these possibilities with its social psychological perspective. Through theory that owes much of its heritage to symbolic interaction, it asks questions about the virtualization of community and new manifestations of the digital self. Too often, commentators feel that community on-line is afforded simply by the connections that the Internet offers. Community, however, is most fully-developed when individuals recognize 'the other' such that they can most fully know themselves. A n empirical study of community networking is undertaken to support this concept and show that virtual community need not be an empty term. This study demonstrates that the way that people value information is more important than an information provider that is a good value.


Computer Networks -- Social aspects
Information Technology -- Social aspects
Internet -- Social aspects
Interpersonal Communication
Interactive Multimedia




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Journalism and Communication

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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