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Monsters in cyberspace: cyberphobia and cultural panic in the information age

Sandywell, B. (2006) Monsters in cyberspace: cyberphobia and cultural panic in the information age. Information, Communication and Society, 9 (1). pp. 39-61. ISSN 1369-118X

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This paper explores popular attitudes toward the Internet (and computer-mediated communication more generally) by mapping some of the more threatening, transgressive and 'monstrous' images associated with cyberspace. An account of risk consciousness is developed in three parts: (1) comparisons with earlier information technologies reveals similarities and differences with regard to public attitudes toward cyberspace and its risks; (2) the development of a model of contemporary teratological space derived from images of boundary-dissolving threats, intrusive alterities and existential ambivalences created by the erosion of binary distinctions and hierarchies; and (3) possible historical and sociological explanations of cyberpanic drawing on recent theorizations of globalization (capitalism/information society theory, risk society theory, reflexive modernization theory, and alterity theory).

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Sociology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 15 May 2009 11:17
Last Modified: 15 May 2009 11:17
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13691180500519407
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Identification Number: 10.1080/13691180500519407
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6372

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