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Social Interaction and Everyday Life in the Age of the Internet - Research Paper Example

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The process through which communities merge, attract new members and their development over time has been a critical issue in research in sociology. Religious denominations, professional organizations and political movements provide fundamental examples of these communities…
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Social Interaction and Everyday Life in the Age of the Internet
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Download file to see previous pages The tendency of people coming together to form groups has been considered inherent in the society’s structure. The group sociology studies largely inform the analysis of sociological phenomena, for instance, evolution of a group within an organization could provide insight into the decision making behavior, dynamics of specific subpopulations and how Internet based forums have affected sociological dynamics. Indeed, Ferris and Stein (2012) appreciate the various ways in which social changes could occur such as the current widespread usage of the Internet. The origin of the Internet has been attributed to the 1969 US Defense Department’s ARPNET and has now been adopted globally even for social uses. The emergence of the Internet brought with it new concepts in sociology and influenced the knowledge and research in sociology. Sociology as a field involves the study of a varied range of institutional structures in the society to give insights into social relationships. In their determination of whether the Internet would socially isolate people, Mohseni, Dowran and Haghighat (2008) noted that sociologists would be more concerned with social implications of the Internet including the new forms of interaction, cyber crime, virtual communities and many more....
The rapid growth in Internet adoption has caused much debate on the social impact it has on humans. According to Brignall and Valey (2011), the Internet came to reinforce the existing social patterns. Thus, the online interaction borne out of the emergence of the Internet became the new form of social interaction. This digital domain has to a greater extent influenced online communities and the social media due to the increase in usage of social networking sites from Friendster to the recent systems like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LiveJournal among many others. These growing societies provide sociologists with the need to shift the perspective of sociology to considering how people group themselves, now that physical location would no longer be considered as a barrier to socialization. Of major concern has been how the Internet communities intertwine to affect real world societies. Social impact of the internet According to Canavagh (2007), the Internet differs from the mass media in that online interaction involves addressing individuals as opposed to addressing the mass. This characterizes identity formation basically through social interaction. Brignall III and Valey (2011) give critical statistics that inform the magnitude of impact that the Internet has in the society, even though the data was based on users aged between 12 and 18. According to these researchers, 35 % of the subjects spent between 30 minutes to an hour everyday online while 44% spent more than an hour. As s way of communication, 81% used emails whereas 70% used instant messaging. Introducing the idea of technological determinism, Ferris and Stein (2012) acknowledge the important role that technology such as the Internet plays in shaping the society. Social inequality How the Internet ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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