Technology, networks and communities: An exploration of network and community theory and technosocial forms
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Technologies such as the internet offer tremendous and potentially transformative possibilities for imagining and living with others. The possibility for new ways of being together raises the question of appropriate concepts, languages and theories to describe, analyse and engage with these social forms and practices. Network and community concepts and rhetoric are most commonly employed for this purpose, yet the differences between them and the rationale for their specific uses are unclear. In order to gain a more nuanced and informed picture, this paper attempts a very broad overview of the fields of network and community theory particularly in relation to technologically mediated social practices. The intent is to begin mapping the uses, limitations and strengths of community and network theory. In the process, the paper will bring to light some of the tensions, issuesand concerns surrounding the analysis of technosociality.
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