[Air-l] Internet Modes of Experience

Denise Carter denisecarter at denisecarter.net
Sat Dec 28 13:42:35 PST 2002

> I am guessing that because of
> these technological developments more people are
> perceiving the Internet as a place or a state of
> being.

hi there,

The central subject of my thesis is an analysis of the development of human
relationships in cyberspace. it is set within the wider topic of the
interconnection of the Internet and society. Central to my analysis are four
questions: how are online relationships formed and maintained, what kind of
relationships are formed online, do relationships formed online migrate to
other social settings, and how are real life and virtual life interwoven in
terms of lived experiences? One of my chapters is an explanation of how
cyberspace is constructed as 'place'

Over the last three years I have undertaken an ethnographic study of an
Internet community. My data consists of fieldnotes
associated with participant observation, 86 interviews on the internet, ten
'short stories' about friendship, and four face to face interviews, with
people I had met in this online community (including my 'mentor' who lived
with myself
and my family for 6 days).

as an impoverished postgrad i have reviewed three books that might interest
you - firstly, 'Life Online' for rccs at
http://www.com.washington.edu/rccs/booklist.asp in feb 2002 -  there is also
a review of the same book there by Dennis L. Wignall and a response by
Annette Markham

i have also reviewed the following two books that look at how the internet
is becoming a 'real' place - they are ethnographies of the internet - the
first is an ethnography of the impact of the Internet in Trinidad - the
second by frank Schaap is a fascinating account of life in a MUD.

1 - A review of - D Miller and D Slater (2000)The Internet: An Ethnographic
Approach. Oxford and New York. Berg, in, Information, Communication and
Society. Issue 5.4, Dec 2002.

2 - A review of - Schaap, Frank (2002)The Words That Took Us There:
Ethnography in a Virtual Reality. Amsterdam. Askant Academic Publishers, in,
Information, Communication and Society. Issue 6.2, Apr/May 2003. (not yet


Denise Maia Carter,
School of Comparative and Applied Social Science,
University of Hull, UK
denisecarter at denisecarter.net

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