The Internet and Social Change (Paperback)
Starting with only four hosts in 1969, the Internet consisted of more than 56 million hosts by the end of 1999. In 1993, the World Wide Web was only 130 sites strong; six years later it boasted more than seven million sites. Despite this explosive growth of the Internet and computer technology, little is known about the social implications of computer mediated communications. In this work, the author uses social science theory to evaluate the social transformations taking place today. She asks whether human beings use the Internet to change basic social institutions, and if so, whether these changes are a matter of degree only or represent an overthrow of previous modes of organizing. The work examines the rise of the Internet as the logical extension of the Industrial Revolution and urbanization consistent with the basic tenets of modernity, and offers a new conceptual framework through which to understand the Internet.
Carla G. Surratt is an independent research sociologist and freelance writer. She lives in Fairfax, Virginia.