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I am proud of my new co-edited book (with Caroline Haythornthwaite) about
how computer networks intersect with social networks.
Here, OTO, is some information about it.
Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
[log in to unmask] http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162
_The Internet in Everyday Life_
Barry Wellman and Caroline Haythornthwaite, eds.
Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. November 2002. 588 pages.
Price: USD $27.95; Euros 20.36; CdnD $44.03; BritPounds £17.95
From the back cover:
The _Internet in Everyday Life_ brings together pioneering studies
that systematically investigate how being online fits into everyday lives.
Until now, the Internet has been treated and discussed as detached from
daily life, occupying some separate sphere of social endeavor. This
collection of original articles from leading scholars in North America,
Asia, and Europe moves discussion of the Internet closer to home, showing
how the Internet does not exist "out there" but is instead an integral
part of daily work and home life.
Contributors show who is on the Internet and what they are doing
there. They debate whether the Internet adds to or detracts from the well
being of individuals, communities, and societies. They demonstrate how the
Internet affects friendship, social capital, social support, civic
involvement, school, work, and shopping. They reveal the extent to which
the Internet is supporting new forms of human relationships, and describe
what gets dropped and strained when Internet hours are added to already
The book goes beyond speculation to provide solid findings.
Surveys, interviews, and field observations inform analyses of behavior on
and with the Internet. Taken as a whole, this body of evidence should
raise the level of debate about the impact of the Internet and raises
serious questions about the popular myth that Internet use increases
Excerpts from the Editors' Introduction,
Barry Wellman and Caroline Haythornthwaite:
_The Internet in Everyday Life_ is about the second age of the
Internet as it descends from the firmament and becomes embedded in
everyday life. The first age of the Internet was a bright light shining
above everyday concerns. In the euphoria, many analysts lost their
perspective. The rapid contraction of the dot.com economy has brought down
to earth the once-euphoric belief in the infinite possibility of Internet
It is not as if the Internet disappeared. Instead, the light that
dazzled overhead has become embedded in everyday things. A reality check
is now underway about where the Internet fits into the ways in which
people behave offline as well as online. We are moving from a world of
Internet wizards to a world of ordinary people routinely using the
Internet as an embedded part of their lives. It has become clear that the
Internet is a very important thing, but not a special thing. In fact, it
is being used more - by more people, in more countries, in more ways.
This book is a harbinger of a new way of thinking about the
Internet: not as a special system but as routinely incorporated into
everyday life.... The studies presented here begin the tasks of broadening
our focus from the Internet to the social worlds in which it is embroiled.
The research in this book focuses on the relationship between the Internet
and interpersonal relationships. It speaks to issues about the social
consequences of adding the Internet to our daily lives. It explores how
the Internet affects social and communal behaviors. The studies address
key questions about the impact of the Internet on friendships, civic
involvement, and time spent with others.
Who is online and who is coming online (and not coming)?
How much time do they spend online?
How does the Internet affect relationships within households, and with
family, friends, voluntary organizations, schoolmates, and workmates?
The research presented suggests that the Internet has accentuated a change
towards a networked society: a turn toward living in networks rather than
in groups. The personalization, portability, ubiquitous connectivity, and
imminent wireless mobility of the Internet all facilitate networked
individualism as the basis of community.
Excerpts from Manuel Castells' Preface:
This book is precious. It provides us with reliable, scholarly research on
the hows and whats of the Internet as it relates to people's lives.
The Internet is rapidly becoming part of the fabric of our lives, not only
in the advanced societies but in the core acitivites and dominant social
groups in most of the world.... [These are] academic researchers setting
the record straight, engaging into the exploration of a new society, our
society, the network society.... [They describe] electronic networks that
simultaneously coordinate decision-making and decentralize production and
distribution throughout the planet.... [This is] a global movement enacted
by and with the Internet.... The emerging pattern is one of self-directed
networking, both in terms of social relationships and in terms of social
The Internet is not just a tool; it is an essential medium for the network
society to unfold its logic.... It is by investigating along the lines
suggested in this volume that we will be able to assess its contour and
its implications. The network is the message, and the Internet is the
Excerpts from Howard Rheingold's Foreword:
Social scientists have pulled ahead of anecdotal evidence and
armchair theorizing to provide significant answers to some of society's
most important questions about social behavior via online media.... Good
information is now available, but it's still drowned out by the noise.
The next step is getting that news out.
The current volume provides useful answers. Most importantly, it
frames the right kinds of questions about the ways in which the se of
Internet-enabled media affect everyday lives. Each chapter in this volume
should stimulate others to ask even more specific questions, as all good
Now that the authors of this volume ... have established a solid
foundation of systematic observation and theory about the ways the
Internet influences everyday life, perhaps we won't have to rely on
data-free philosophizing to make policy decisions as citizens and
>From Brian D. Loader, Journal Editor, Information, Communication &
The editors are to be congratulated for pulling together a
collection of excellent articles that will make a valuable contribution to
empirically grounding discussions about the effects of the Internet on our
everyday life experiences. [Back cover]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Foreword - The Virtual Community in the Real World, by Howard Rheingold
Series Editor's Preface: The Internet and the Network Society,
by Manuel Castells
Part I - Moving the Internet out of Cyberspace
The Internet in Everyday Life: An Introduction, by Caroline
Haythornthwaite and Barry Wellman
Part II - The Place of the Internet in Everyday Life
1. Days and Nights on the Internet, by Philip E. N. Howard, Lee Rainie,
and Steve Jones
2. The Global Villagers: Comparing Internet Users and Uses Around the
World, by Wenhong Chen, Jeffrey Boase, and Barry Wellman
3. Syntopia: Access, Civic Involvement, and Social Interaction on the Net,
James E. Katz and Ronald E. Rice
4. Digital Living: The Impact (or Otherwise) of the Internet on Everyday
British Life, Ben Anderson and Karina Tracey
5. The Changing Digital Divide in Germany, Gert G. Wagner, Rainer
Pischner, and John P. Haisken-DeNew
6. Doing Social Science Research Online, Alan Neustadtl, John P. Robinson,
and Meyer Kestnbaum
Part III - Finding Time for the Internet
7. Internet Use, Interpersonal Relations, and Sociability: A Time Diary
Study, by Norman H. Nie, D. Sunshine Hillygus, and Lutz Erbring
8. The Internet and Other Uses of Time, by John P. Robinson, Meyer
Kestnbaum, Alan Neustadtl, and Anthony S. Alvarez
9. Everyday Communication Patters of Heavy and Light Email Users, Janell
I. Copher, Alaina G. Kanfer, and Mary Bea Walker
Part IV - The Internet in the Community
10. Capitalizing on the Net: Social Contact, Civic Engagement, and Sense
of Community, by Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman, with James C. Witte
and Keith N. Hampton
11. The Impact of Community Computer Networks on Social Capital and
Community Involvement in Blacksburg, Andrea L. Kavanaugh and Scott J.
12. The Not So Global Village of Netville, Keith N. Hampton and Barry
13. Email, Gender, and Personal Relationships, Bonka Boneva and Robert
14. Belonging in Geographic, Ethnic and Internet Spaces, Sorin Matei and
Sandra J. Ball-Rokeach
Part V - The Internet at School, Work, and Home
15. Bringing the Internet Home: Adult Distance Learners and Their
Internet, Home, and Work Worlds, by Caroline Haythornthwaite and Michelle
16. Where Home is the Office: The New Form of Flexible Work, by Janet W.
17. Kerala Connections: Will the Internet Affect Science in Developing
Areas? Theresa Davidson, R. Sooryamoorthy, and Wesley Shrum
18. Social Support for Japanese Mothers Online and Offline, by Kakuko
19. Experience and Trust in Online Shopping, by Robert J. Lunn and Michael
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