Exploring the Digital Divide



In his recent work The Internet Galaxy, Manuel Castells explores a number of debates which have developed around the significance of ‘virtual communities’ (2001: 116–136). The work of writers such as Wellman (1979) and Fischer (1982), he maintains, has long demonstrated that people do not build their meaning in local societies … because they select their relationships on the basis of their affinities’ (2001: 126). Castells has gone so far as to claim that ‘ … the major transformation of sociability in complex societies took place with the substitution of networks for spatial communities as major forms of sociability’ (2001: 127). His position holds that although ‘place-based sociability’ and ‘territorially defined community … has not disappeared in the world at large … it certainly plays a minor role in structuring social relationships for the majority of the population in developed societies’ (2001: 126).


Community Group Local Group Virtual Community Management Committee Centre Staff 
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Copyright information

© Karen F. Evans 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology, Social Policy & Social Work StudiesUniversity of LiverpoolUK

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