Toward a Sociology of the Internet


The current body of literature within sociology concerning the Internet is problematic. Much has been published on various topics concerning the Internet, but a school of thought that addresses the Internet exclusively has yet to emerge. Sociologists look to the Internet as a new place to do research on existing topics or as a new place to apply old theories. We have sociology on the Internet, but we have no sociology for the Internet. As the Internet continues to grow and internet use is proliferated, the need to understand everyday interaction on the Internet grows. More than this, the effects of the medium on society at large are still wholly speculative. We need to move past narrow research and speculation and toward new theories and correctly applied research.

This thesis is largely a work in sociological theory. I will examine the history of the Internet and the history of sociological studies on the Internet. As of yet, there has been no attempt to organize the current literature of sociological studies of the Internet. This thesis is an attempt to do so. There are certain trends in sociological research concerning the Internet, and a few main schools of thought can be found. For a "Sociology of the Internet" to emerge, the literature must be brought together in a synthetic fashion and looked at with a critical eye. This will be an attempt to resolve any theoretical problems that exist and find what type of research we need the most when understanding the Internet. After a thorough review of the literature, it will be shown that what is lacking more than anything is accurate depictions of everyday life online. Thus we need research to address this problem.


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Thesis Completion





Goldstein, Warren S.


Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program



Arts and Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Sciences







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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