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Inside the Communication RevolutionEvolving Patterns of Social and Technical Interaction$
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Robin Mansell

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198296553

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198296553.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 July 2021

Cyberspace and Social Distinctions: Two Metaphors and a Theory

Cyberspace and Social Distinctions: Two Metaphors and a Theory

(p.55) 3 Cyberspace and Social Distinctions: Two Metaphors and a Theory
Inside the Communication Revolution

David C. Neice

Oxford University Press

There are two different types of experiences and interactions that can be encountered in cyberspace. The first is shown in the form of social metaphors about cyberspace that focus on folk theories and ‘common-sense’ explanations particularly on Internet participation. The second is presented in the form of social distinctions within cyberspace; this concerns social theory and the signs and rules that comprise the interaction processes. This chapter presents the results from a qualitative empirical study that examined the perceptions and interpretations of intensive Internet-users on social distinctions relevant in cyberspace interactions. Here, it is pointed out that changes involving themes like freedom and creativity, persona, skill, and other such themes are brought about by processes of network peer reciprocity and that processes occurring over the internet can affect the social signification for Internet-users.

Keywords:   cyberspace, social metaphors, social theory, interactions, social signification, Internet, Internet-users

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