Identity and Communication in Cybersociety
Copyright © 2000-2007 Isabel Pedersen
Jones, Steven G. “The Internet and its Social Landscape.”
Jones is the editor for this collection, Virtual Culture: Identity and Community in Cybersociety. To a certain extent, his text serves as an introduction to and a dialogue with all the articles he includes. He analyzes the central premise that runs throughout his collection and many other publications: What is the nature of the individual subject in a communal electronic society that shuns privacy? His section gives a general history of common debates and discussions in the area of cyberspatial thought. He touches on many theorists whose work does not appear in this collection.
Zickmund, Susan. "Approaching the Radical Other: The Discursive Culture of Cyberhate." 185 - 205.
Zickmund is skeptical of the empancipatory qualities of the Internet. She addresses the way that some personal web sites grow into communities that encourage hate literature. She states that “The virtual reality of cyberspace does not conform with our traditional notions of community, one which allows individuals to physically interact on a day to day basis (Rosello, 1994, pp. 131-132). These cybercultures lack what Heidegger (1962) defines as the ‘everydayness’ of life, which is required in order to create das Man, or the larger structures of society which, in turn, shape the individual sense of Being-in-the-world” (185). Zickmund tours the web sites of white supremacists who attack racial minorities, Jews and homosexuals and incite violence through rhetoric of fear and paranoia. Zickmund includes several text samples and analyzes online discussion and interaction. She also discusses the opportunity for backlash against white supremacism that is very difficult in the physical world, although overall, she promotes censorship on the Web to prevent cyberhate. She draws on Althusser, Foucault, and Heidegger, as well as others, for theoretical backing.
Dietrich, Dawn. “(Re)-Fashioning the Techno-Erotic Woman: Gender and Textuality in the Cybercultural Matrix.” 169-184.
Dietrich concentrates on the Cybercultural Matrix, a space that forges connections between the print world and cyberspatial network. Her central concern is to situate gender within the matrix and to apply a feminist interrogation of this space. She analyzes print magazines like Wired and Mondo and then compares them to Web page counterparts. She moves to analyzing the construction or fashioning of feminine identity in the cyberspatial industry (print and on-line). She points out that hegemonic structures still marginalize women in an online environment.