[Air-L] Histories of public perception of the internet?

David Brake davidbrake at gmail.com
Sat Aug 18 07:57:21 PDT 2012

Dear all,

Any recommendations for histories of how the public perception of the internet has changed? I was reminded by Eszter Hargittai recently (who circulated this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m4KZHDVWRE&feature=youtu.be) how the internet was once viewed unproblematically as a great place to get information. Then (thanks to Howard Rheingold) as a place where likeminded people could find each other. Then disillusionment set in (was it that Rimm Cyberporn paper http://www.columbia.edu/cu/21stC/issue-1.2/Cyber.htm that started it?). Now there's a long laundry list of reasons why we try to keep kids off it.

This is just my recollection though - has anyone written a paper or book that tackles all the twists and turns?

PS There's a great, readable and teachable paper:

Cassell, J. and M. Cramer (2007) "High Tech or High Risk: Moral Panics About Girls Online" in Digital Young, Innovation, and the Unexpected, pp. 53-75. http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1162/dmal.9780262633598.053 

which goes all the way back to Victorian concern about the intrusiveness of the telegraph but it's a focused critique of sexual predator discourses about the internet rather than a broader history.



David Brake (@drbrake http://davidbrake.org/) Senior Lecturer, Journalism & Communications, University of Bedfordshire http://www.beds.ac.uk/departments/jc +44 (0) 1582 743028

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