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July 25 , 2008

Community in the Digital Age

Philosophy and Practice


Is the Internet the key to a reinvigorated public life? Or will it fragment society by enabling citizens to associate only with like-minded others? Online community has provided social researchers with insights into our evolving social life. As suburbanization and the breakdown of the extended family and neighborhood isolate individuals more and more, the Internet appears as a possible source for reconnection. Are virtual communities 'real' enough to support the kind of personal commitment and growth we associate with community life, or are they fragile and ultimately unsatisfying substitutes for human interaction? Community in the Digital Age features the latest, most challenging work in an important and fast-changing field, providing a forum for some of the leading North American social scientists and philosophers concerned with the social and political implications of this new technology. Their provocative arguments touch on all sides of the debate surrounding the Internet, community, and democracy.

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