This handbook, the first of its kind, is a detailed introduction to the numerous academic perspectives we can apply to the study of the internet as a political, social and communicative phenomenon. Covering both practical and theoretical angles, established researchers from around the world discuss everything: the foundations of internet research appear alongside chapters on understanding and analyzing current examples of online activities and artifacts. The material covers all continents and explores in depth subjects such as networked gaming, economics and the law. The sheer scope and breadth of topics examined in this volume, which ranges from on-line communities to e-science via digital aesthetics, are evidence that in todays world, internet research is a vibrant and mature field in which practitioners have long since stopped considering the internet as either an utopian or dystopian 'new' space, but instead approach it as a medium that has become an integral part of our everyday culture and a natural mode of communication.

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