Electronic Tribes: The Virtual Worlds of Geeks, Gamers, Shamans, and Scammers

Paperback | July 1, 2008

EditorTyrone L. Adams, Stephen A. Smith

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Whether people want to play games and download music, engage in social networking and professional collaboration, or view pornography and incite terror, the Internet provides myriad opportunities for people who share common interests to find each other. The contributors to this book argue that these self-selected online groups are best understood as tribes, with many of the same ramifications, both positive and negative, that tribalism has in the non-cyber world.

In Electronic Tribes, the authors of sixteen competitively selected essays provide an up-to-the-minute look at the social uses and occasional abuses of online communication in the new media era. They explore many current Internet subcultures, including MySpace.com, craftster.org, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) such as World of Warcraft, music downloading, white supremacist and other counterculture groups, and Nigerian e-mail scams. Their research raises compelling questions and some remarkable answers about the real-life social consequences of participating in electronic tribes. Collectively, the contributors to this book capture a profound shift in the way people connect, as communities formed by geographical proximity are giving way to communities—both online and offline—formed around ideas.

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From the Publisher

Whether people want to play games and download music, engage in social networking and professional collaboration, or view pornography and incite terror, the Internet provides myriad opportunities for people who share common interests to find each other. The contributors to this book argue that these self-selected online groups are best...

TYRONE L. ADAMS is the Richard D'Aquin Professor of Journalism and Communications at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.STEPHEN A. SMITH is Professor of Communication at the University of Arkansas.

other books by Tyrone L. Adams

Format:PaperbackDimensions:331 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:July 1, 2008Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292717741

ISBN - 13:9780292717749

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Table of Contents

Foreword, Ronald E. RiceAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: Where Is the Shaman? Jim ParkerPart I: Conceptualizing Electronic TribesChapter 1. "A Tribe by Any Other Name . . . ," Tyrone L. Adams and Stephen A. SmithChapter 2. Mimetic Kinship: Theorizing Online "Tribalism," Veronica M. Davidov and Barbara AndersenChapter 3. Electronic Tribes (E-Tribes): Some Theoretical Perspectives and Implications, Bolanle OlaniranChapter 4. Revisiting the Impact of Tribalism on Civil Society: An Investigation of the Potential Benefits of Membership in an E-Tribe on Public Discourse, Christina StanderferPart II: Social Consequences of Electronic TribalismChapter 5. Theorizing the E-Tribe on MySpace.com, David R. DewberryChapter 6. Don't Date, Craftsterbate: Dialogue and Resistance on craftster.org, Terri L. RussChapter 7. Guild Life in the World of Warcraft: Online Gaming Tribalism, Thomas Brignall IIIChapter 8. At the Electronic Evergreen: A Computer-Mediated Ethnography of Tribalism in a Newsgroup from Montserrat and Afar, Jonathan SkinnerPart III: Emerging Electronic Tribal CulturesChapter 9. "Like a neighborhood of sisters": Can Culture Be Formed Electronically? Deborah Clark VanceChapter 10. Gerald M. Phillips as Electronic Tribal Chief: Socioforming Cyberspace, Ann RosenthalChapter 11. Digital Dreamtime, Sonic Talismans: Music Downloading and the Tribal Landscape, Michael C. ZalotChapter 12. Magic, Myth, and Mayhem: Tribalization in the Digital Age, Leonie NaughtonPart IV: Cybercrime and Counterculture among Electronic TribesChapter 13. Mundanes at the Gate . . . and Perverts Within: Managing Internal and External Threats to Community Online, Steve Abrams and Smaragd GrünChapter 14. Brotherhood of Blood: Aryan Tribalism and Skinhead Cybercrews, Jody M. RoyChapter 15. Radical Tribes at Warre: Primitivists on the Net, Mathieu O'NeilChapter 16. A "Tribe" Migrates Crime to Cyberspace: Nigerian Igbos in 419 E-Mail Scams, Farooq A. Kperogi and Sandra DuhéAbout the ContributorsIndex

Editorial Reviews

The major contribution of this book is that the idea of 'tribe' is fully and robustly explicated in ways that challenge existing wisdom, particularly the idea that Internet users are best understood as communities. . . . The richness of diverse research resources is evident in every chapter. I particularly commend the editors on the international perspective and the inclusion of such a surprising array of subcultures. - H. L. Goodall Jr., Director, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University