This wide-ranging introductory text looks at the virtual community of cyberspace and analyses its relationship to real communities lived out in today's societies. Issues such as race, gender, power, economics and ethics in cyberspace are grouped under four main sections and discussed by leading experts: * identity* social order and control* community structure and dynamics* collective action. This topical new book displays how the idea of community is being challenged and rewritten by the increasing power and range of cyberspace. As new societies and relationships are formed in this virtual landscape, we now have to consider the potential consequences this may have on our own community and societies. Clearly and concisely written with a wide range of international examples, this edited volume is an essential introduction to the sociology of the internet. It will appeal to students and professionals, and to those concerned about the changing relationships between information technology and a society which is fast becoming divided between those on-line and those not.