"Henk de Vos"
Titel: Community and Human Social Nature in Contemporary Society
Autor: Henk de Vos
Abstract: Although community is a core sociological concept, its meaning is often left vague. In this article it is pointed out that it is a social form that has deep connections with human social nature. Human social life and human social history can be seen as unflagging struggles between two contradictory behavioral modes: reciprocity and status competition. Relative to hunter-gatherer societies, present society is a social environment that strongly seduces to engage in status competition. But at the same time evidence increases that communal living is strongly associated with well being and health. A large part of human behavior and of societal processes are individual and collective expressions of on the one hand succumbing to the seductions of status competition and one the other hand attempts to build and maintain community. In this article some contemporary examples of community maintaining, enrichment and building are discussed. The article concludes with a specification of structural conditions for community living and a short overview of ways in which the Internet affects these conditions.
Trust and Community on the Internet. Opportunities and Restrictions for Online Cooperation
2004 (26) Heft 1
Guest-Editors: Bernd Lahno / Uwe Matzat
Early studies in the area of Internet Research emphasized the deficiencies that computer-mediated communication as opposed to face-to-face communication would have. The chances for the evolution of cooperative relationships on the Internet were assessed sceptically. Present research findings correct this point of view. In spite of a missing central authority, without formal controls and sanctions, with anonymity and easy-to-use exit options there is not only chaos and anomy on the Internet. Rath...