The Internet: An Ethnographic Approach
OverviewThis pathbreaking book is the first to provide a rigorous and comprehensive examination of Internet culture and consumption. A rich ethnography of Internet use, the book offers a sustained account not just of being online, but of the social, political and cultural contexts which account for the contemporary Internet experience. From cybercafes to businesses, from middle class houses to squatters settlements, from the political economy of Internet provision to the development of ecommerce, the authors have gathered a wealth of material based on fieldwork in Trinidad. Looking at the full range of Internet media -- including websites, email and chat -- the book brings out unforeseen consequences and contradictions in areas as varied as personal relations, commerce, nationalism, sex and religion. This is the first book-length treatment of the impact of the Internet on a particular region. By focusing on one place, it demonstrates the potential for a comprehensive approach to new media. It points to the future direction of Internet research, proposing a detailed agenda for comparative ethnographic study of the cultural significance and effects of the Internet in modern society. Clearly written for the non-specialist reader, it offers a detailed account of the complex integration between on-line and off-line worlds. An innovative tie-in with the book's own website provides copious illustrations amounting to over 2,000 web-pages that bring the material right to your computer.