Social and Civic Participation in a Community Network

John M. Carroll, Mary Beth Rosson, Andrea Kavanaugh, Daniel Dunlap, Wendy Schafer, Jason Snook, Philip Isenhour

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter moves the focus of attention from the individual in the household to the larger community. The field site is a mid-sized American university town in a rural setting, which has had one of the longest-standing community networks in the United States. Eighty-seven per cent of the town's residents use the Internet on a regular basis, and 75 per cent of the town's businesses advertise online. The use of local Internet services and content is strong. The chapter suggests that many residents recruit Internet technology in the service of their community-oriented goals (e.g. activism, staying informed, participating in groups). Yet when people do not have such goals, increased use of the Internet may actually decrease their level of activity in the community. The Internet can therefore both complement and displace community activities, with the effects being different for different people.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationComputers, Phones, and the Internet
Subtitle of host publicationDomesticating Information Technology
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199847730
ISBN (Print)0195312805, 9780195312805
StatePublished - Mar 22 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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