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The Experience of Virtual Communities: Cosmopolitan or Voyeur?
Komito, Lee
There are many perspectives on being cosmopolitan; even the commonplace sense of the word, with its implication of the sophisticated traveller, who is conversant with and adapts with relative ease to many different cultures, stands in notable opposition to the idea of the provincial, whose perspectives are typically narrower and more limited. This commonplace sense is ultimately derived from the Greek Stoics’ assertion that one should not be a citizen of any one state but of the whole world. Often, knowledge of different spheres was the result of physical travel, enabling face-to-face interaction with people in a different society over some period of time. With faster and richer means of electronic communication, and the global diffusion of material culture, such participation would seem to be getting easier, without the requirement of physical travel. In addition, new technologies are enabling the creation of new electronic communities. Increasingly, then, it would appear that one could be ‘cosmopolitan’ without leaving one’s armchair, simply dipping in and out of a variety of cultures, experiences and communities, including electronic communities. Is it possible to consider participation in virtual communities, and typically in electronic communities, in the context of cosmopolitanism? This is the issue which I shall explore in this essay.
Keyword(s): Cosmopolitanism; Society; Global culture; Electronic communities
Publication Date:
Type: Book chapter
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: University College Dublin
Publisher(s): Peter Lang
First Indexed: 2019-05-11 06:31:07 Last Updated: 2019-05-11 06:31:07