Titel: Cooperation and Community on the Internet: Past Issues and Present Perspectives for Theoretical-Empirical Internet Research
Autor: Uwe Matzat
Abstract: This paper first summarizes two central debates in the field of social scientific Internet research, namely the debate about the so-called 'social impact of Internet use' and the debate about the existence of community on the Internet. Early research discussed whether building up a community on the Internet was possible and what the effects of the use of the Internet were for its user. Recent research on the social consequences of Internet use suggests that 'the' Internet should no longer be regarded as a constant that has uniform effects for its users. Rather, the consequences of its use depend on a number of contextual conditions. The paper presents some theories that explain which conditions and features of online groups facilitate the finding of solutions to bilateral or group-level problems of cooperation.
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...