Virtual Community Research Paper


For a number of years, the Meta territoriality made possible by telecommunications has intrigued us with its potential to escape the national sovereignty of states. Virtuality creates new kinds of communities, which may acquire some of the powers and prerogatives of existing sovereignties (Bugliarello).

Globalization is generally referred to as the increasing interaction of people and places, which was the result of development of transportation systems, communication channels and information technologies that leads to cultural, economic and political contingence.

Nowadays, it is impossible to imagine life without Internet. It is irreplaceable when doing business and searching for partnerships, presenting products and services to consumers and communicating producers, as well as using it for entertaining purposes. Today it is the main tool of globalizing all aspects of social, political and economic spheres of everyday life. It opens channels for communication, choice and participation in an expanding public spheres fostered by popular to new media. Internet’s key feature remains lower barrier to entry and a wide range of possibilities for those who are willing to do e-commerce or just develop present business in all directions.

In this research paper I am aiming to explore globalization issues in the context of Internet development, define virtual communities and their key roles, investigate in the question of what does virtual Diaspora look like and what are possible types of it. I will also try to disclose the notion of identity and its role in establishment of virtual communities and Diasporas.

Virtual communities

There are three basic types of social relationships: primary, secondary and tertiary. Primary refers to supporting face-to-face interactions, usually on the everyday basis. They involve all aspects of the life of an individual, and generally this type of relationship includes family members and close friends. Secondary interactions are also referred to as face-to-face, but they are most likely to be impersonal, for example, business interactions. And finally tertiary interactions are connected with those people whom we do not meet customarily, indirect relationships. It is not right to consider Internet supporting just tertiary or secondary ties. It is essential that Internet can reinforce primary or local bonds.

It is obvious that Internet provides the possibility to create new types of social relationships and creating particular groups. Usage of e-mail, web pages and of chatting facilities make the communication among people with similar interests and backgrounds very easy and allow them maintain social ties without seeing each other, or in other words without physical presence of each other. This type of communication is called as “online” or “virtual communities” which are of high popularity worldwide. One of the most important things about computer-mediated social formations is creation of social connections, which are not geographically tied. Rapid development of Internet, related services and investigating in online social formations make it possible to think about creation of “community without proximity”, in which it is possible for individuals to interact freely at large distance by means of technologies, instead of face-to-face exchanges.

Networked communication makes private, close professional or functional social circles portable. Individuals can carry with them, and have immediately accessible, the channels of communication needed to keep in touch with individuals that are vital for maintaining a sense of stability and social anchoring (Wellman 227-52).

There are several reasons for enjoying those online connections. Primarily, people want to be socially active- meeting and communicating people, playing games online, sharing jokes, funny stories and personal experiences. For such purposes there exist chat rooms- for example- Then people can work together or doing business. That can be communities as within a particular company, which would strengthen their team, and also communities between different companies to work and discuss common projects together, for example, People can be interested in topical conversations as well, for example, or There people share their experiences, opinions and ideas upon particular subjects (marriage issues, health, relationships, baby care, business and finance, traveling, religion, music, international, etc.) Such communities can be also structured in accordance with particular region, city, school or University (for example, By the way, to my opinion is one of the most successful and precise example of virtual community, as there it is possible to find everything regarding interested topic. Each person has the possibility to create his own account (it can be free or paid) or a community, specify a list of interests in order to attract new people and to search for people with similar interests. It is possible to find new partners, supplier or producers there in definite communities; rent, buy or sell property or business. It can also be an additional advertisement for the existing business, as a person on the everyday basis can inform interested parties in what is going on.

Virtual communities create new possibilities for identity. One of another bright example of virtual community is Second Life. It is a virtual society, a 3-D virtual world that was totally created by its residents. This community was launched in 2003 and since that time it acquired such popularity that today the number of its residents is already counted in millions. Once a person enters Second Life, he will discover a great continent, will teem with different people, and be involved in entertainment, experiences and opportunities. After the exploration it will be time for building personal house or starting a business. You are not alone there, as you’ll be surrounded by creations of other members. Then it is possible to trade digital creations, as Residents retain rights to them. The turnover of the Marketplace per month is millions of US dollars.

It is obvious that virtual communities have advantages and disadvantages. It is impossible to deny that computer communication created a strong potential for social interaction of people, locations and ideas that are at long distances. The questionable remains the quality of this interactions and the role of technologies in replacing or supplementing personal relationships. For some extent, Internet replaces strong, face-to-face relationships with weak online ties or with socially hollow interaction with the technology itself. Another threat is connected with the assumption that those virtual communities create the world that is dominated with the narcissism of similarity. Although virtual communities do not deny presence of online sociability, it can be significantly restricted by grouping people according to their age, gender or ideology.

I must say that Internet has greatly contributed to the understanding of people of what social space and relationships are. …computer-mediated communication does depersonalize some of our social interactions. For example, e-commerce and e-banking reduce or even eliminate human interactions. However, the relationships that we lose are not primary, strong-tie (i.e., those with family and friends), but secondary, weak-tie (i.e., those with sales clerks). In consequence, replacing impersonal human relationships with purely technological ones saves time, which can then be used for maintaining or reinforcing primary social relationships. This can be done in-person or via technological means–e.g., by e-mailing family members or a long-lost friend. Online social ties could, from this perspective, support and extend offline ties (Matei).

Speaking about advantages, I would like to investigate in the case with immigrants. They use Internet in order to keep ties to different social spaces and in general use communication technologies as the bridge between cyber space and geographical space. Computer-mediated communication in this case makes possible for immigrants to monitor and renovate their social interconnections.

Virtual Diasporas

As a result of the weakening of traditional ties in late modernity, people look towards virtual communities as social loci for the re-negotiation and construction of their identities. The ambiguous and complex environment of cyberspace becomes a new arena for the articulation of the politics of recognition, generating hybrid collective formations, such as digital nations, virtual Diasporas and other online communities of an ethnic/national orientation. These novel contexts of social interaction emerge from the localized flows of electronic mediascapes and challenge our notions of home, belonging, community and identity in various ways. More importantly, they function as manifestations of the desire of communities to exist in public space and confirm their presence in an increasingly complex and mediated social world (Diamandaki).

Internet, or a Global village, how it is frequently called, had created mediated and social networks, which are populated with number of individuals with different backgrounds and national origins. While trying to explore what a Virtual Diaspora is, I have found out that this term is very much connected with the notion of identity. Virtual identity cannot be defined at once, there is no strict definition of it, which can be always referred to, but it is also true that it is impossible to define any other type of identity. Identity is generally socially-constructed and contains building relationships with people and things around. As to the nature of identity, it appears to be rather political. Creation of identity is the process of definition, negotiation and social struggle. It includes political acceptance, discourse and law, exclusion and inclusion (Diamandaki). Identity also presumes power, as, for example, minority groups do not have enough strength to determine themselves.

Yet identity is becoming the main […] source of meaning in a historical period characterized by widespread destructuring of organizations, deletigimation of institutions, fading away of major social movements, and ephemeral cultural expressions. People increasingly organize their meaning not around what they do but on the basis of what they […] believe they are. Meanwhile, on the other hand, global networks of instrumental exchanges selectively switch on and off individuals, groups, regions, and even countries, according to their relevance in fulfilling the goals processed in the network, in a relentless flow of strategic decision. It follows a fundamental split between abstract, universal instrumentalism, and historically rooted, particularist identities (Castells 470).

Ethnicity is interconnected with establishment of Virtual Diasporas as well. National and ethnic identities can be observed everywhere in Internet. They appear to be parts of e-mail addresses and web-pages. When in communities, they appear to be in nick-names of individuals (e.g. “SophieNewYorK” or “Willy.MistyAlbion”).

It is also possible to distinguish between diasporic and non-diasporic nationalities and ethnicities. The difference depends upon the type of communities that they present their practices and primary goals.

Diasporic communities can be divided into three main categories- nations and national groups without a state, expatriate communities of exiting nation-states and communities of dissidents who have fled totalitarian regimes. The first category contains diasporic populations to whom this term has generally been applied to (e.g. the Jews, the Tibetans, etc.). Main discourses among those virtually created Diasporas are memories, pain, dislocation and suffering. Such communities usually speak a lot about lost home and their right to return home (Palestinian Diaspora). In this case the key symbol of ethnic identity is “their” land and the collective memory of exile. On the contrary of creating virtual Diasporas, I would like to present an example of Jewish community and Sabbath. For Jewish Diaspora Sabbath allowed overcoming the barrier of geographical dislocation without any technological advances. The greatest invention of the ancient Hebrews was the idea of the sabbath, though I am using this word in a fully secular sense: the invention of a region free from control of the state and commerce where another dimension of life could be experienced and where altered forms of social relationship could occur. As such the Sabbath has always been a major resistance to state and market power (Carrey 227). And on the other hand Jewish communities are widespread in Internet. For those of us already living in Jewish communities, the Internet binds us together. We can get information, we chat on mailing lists, and we can share our ideas and personalities on web sites. But for Jews isolated in remote locations, the web can really open up the Jewish world for them. And as time goes by, the web will bring us more and more to learn about our people, Jewish history and culture, and torah and mitzvoth (Tannenbaum).

The second category includes immigrants, as questions of global mobility and immigration are very relevant nowadays. The main purpose of creation of such communities is an attempt to build a home in Internet, which is far away from real home. Examples contain Chinese, Indians, Russians, and African-Americans living abroad. Such Diasporas are not very much interested in politics, they are just aiming to develop and sustain spirit of unity with their Motherland by means of communicating people with similar needs and building a strong virtual community.

The last third category involves exile communities, aiming to de-legitimize or destruct the regimes in their counties. Key topic of such communities is striving for democracy.

There are also non-diasporic communities with such subcategories: nations with a state and regional ethnicities within a nation. Communities and web-pages of the first subcategory usually choose primary symbols and ideologically attractive myths for their national identity. It can be anthems, flags, symbolic colors or historical events. And the second subcategory web-sites are created aiming to develop the sense of ethnic peculiarity and historicity. So, it becomes obvious that virtual Diaspora communities are very much important in establishing international relationships, resolving conflicts and assisting in cooperation.


In the conclusion I would like to summarize all key point of the paper and develop some idea about potentialities of virtual communities and virtual Diasporas. So, it is already obvious for a long time that globalization is inevitable and quickly developed process. It includes all spheres of people’s lives, and is tightly connected with technological advances. Step-by-step time and space become to loose their common meaning and now to do business it is not necessary to have a premise and a numerous working staff. To have a computer with an access to Internet Explorer is far enough to get started. Internet is frequently used for buying stuff and watching sight seeing of the other countries. The whole world is open and ready to astonish with numerous possibilities. A person can just sit in the room and communicate friends from the other side of the world through “Skype” and seeing them as well by means of web-camera, or CEO of a large corporation can use this tool for negotiations or even for a conference regarding business issues.

People can trade stocks on Internet and earn money- save of time for paperwork. If someone had to move to another country to work or to study, it is always possible to stay with your family “online” or just communicate people of the same interested and not to feel lonely. A talented writer can easily share his works with other in special communities and women who are interested in fashion can easily watch latest clothes demonstrations at company’s sites and immediately buy what they want.

So, new is always good and creating is always optimistic, and the same is with virtual communities and globalization process.

Matei, Sorin. “The Impact of State-Level Social Capital on the Emergence of Virtual Communities”. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, vol.8, issue 1 (2004):23+
Wellmann, B. “Physical Space and Cyber Space: The Rise of Personalized Networks”. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 25(2): 227-252
Bugliarello, George. “Virtual Nations or Telecommunication”. The Futurist, vol. 36, issue 4(2002):30+
Tannenbaum, A. The Jewish Internet – A Guru’s View (online interview). Retrieved November 25, 2007 from the World Wide Web:
Diamandaki, Katerina. “Virtual ethnicity and digital diasporas: Identity construction in cyberspace”. Global Media Journal, vol.2, issue 2 (2003)
Castells, M. The Power of Identity. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.
Carey, J. Communication as Culture. Essays on media and society. London: Routledge, 1989.
Smith, R. Actual and possible uses of cyberspace by and among states, diasporas and migrants. Retrieved November 24, 2007 from the World Wide Web:
Rheingold, H. The virtual community: Finding connection in a computerised world. London: Secker and Warburg, 1994.
Du Gay, P., Evans, J. and Redman, P. (Eds) Identity: a reader. London: Sage Publications, 2000.
Foster, D. Community and identity in the electronic village. In D. Porter (Ed.). Internet culture, (pp.24-37). London: Routledge, 1997.

Actually all free research paper samples and examples available online are 100% plagiarized! If you need a high-quality customized research paper on virtual community topics written from scratch, you can easily hire professional academic writers online:

Click here to read more about custom written research papers!

You will get a 100% non-plagiarized research paper about virtual communities from writing service!

Research Paper on Native American Gender Roles


Historically, the development of human society was accompanied by the changing views on the gender roles and the perception of the concept of gender by members of human community. In this regard, the development of views of Native Americans on gender and gender roles is particularly noteworthy because, in the course of time, it has evolved considerably and the role of the European colonization in the process of this evolution can hardly be underestimated. In fact, Native Americans had their own unique concept of gender and their views on gender roles often varied from those of Europeans, especially in relation to the Berdache phenomenon. At the same time, it would be a mistake to estimate that the views of Native Americans on the theory of gender, including gender roles and the definition of the concept of gender was totally different from those of Europeans. Continue reading “Research Paper on Native American Gender Roles”

Research Paper on Inflation and Government Spending

1. Introduction

Inflation is generally referred to as the increase of the general price level during the specific period of time. Definition of inflation is also used to relation to some particular set of services or goods and the rise of their prices. High rates of inflation are believed to be caused by high rates of the money supply. Inflation can be measured by means of consumer price indices, cost-of-living indices, producer price indices, commodity price indices, GDP deflator, capital goods price index, as well as regional and historical inflation can be measured.

There are three major types or theories of inflation- demand-pull inflation, cost-push inflation and built-in inflation. Cost-push inflation can be also called shock supply inflation, as it occurs because of drops in aggregate supply caused by increased prices for goods or services. For example, if there is a shortage of something in the market, then its price will increase and remain high unless the situation changes. Build-in inflation can be caused by adaptive expectations. Continue reading “Research Paper on Inflation and Government Spending”

Analytical Report on Human Trafficking

analytical report concerns the problem of human trafficking which currently is one of the most serious issues of the contemporary world and in the future, it may aggravate dramatically if no measures are undertaken. It is why, in such a situation, such states as the US has to solve this problem since to a significant extent they unwillingly stimulate human trafficking because they attract criminals involved in this ‘business’ due to its profitability. As a result, it is necessary to undertake preventive measures and improve the current situation to prevent sufferings of victims of human trafficking, which are defined in this research, and stop the harmful impact of human trafficking on the socio-economic life of the target countries.

Nowadays the problem of human trafficking is growing to be extremely important and affect practically all countries of the world. In fact, it is possible to estimate that human trafficking is gradually becoming a global problem. At the same time, this problem is extremely serious and needs an immediate solution. Otherwise, it will become the great dilemma for practically all states to solve. Continue reading “Analytical Report on Human Trafficking”

The Black Panthers Research Paper

Black Panthers
may be considered to be one of the first organizations of people in the USA who fight for the human rights and equality, regardless a strong oppression from dominant social groups representing white population of the country. It should be pointed out that their ideology was significantly different from traditional views of numerous nationalist groups existing in the US. In stark contrast, they put universal human values and ideas, based on principles of socialism and dialectical materialism, above all and aimed at the radical changes of the unjust and oppressive system that existed in the USA in the 1960s – 1970s when the organization had existed. Continue reading “The Black Panthers Research Paper”

Criminal Behavior Research Paper

The causes of criminal behavior have been studied by many psychologists and sociologies who tried to identify what pushes people to commit crimes. Some of the researchers claim that delinquent behavior can be explained by the set of following factors: income level, social environment, and cultural background. If the first two factors have much described and analyzed, the cultural context remains at the point of debate.

This research aims to find out whether the ethnic origin can predict the possible criminal behavior. The target population chosen for investigation is Asians with the particular emphasis being made on psychopathic juveniles.

lot has been written about the criminal behavior of African Americans, but not a lot of research has been done on Asians. The vast availability of research on Blacks can be explained – African Americans commit the majority of the juvenile crimes, and this tendency made sociologists think about the roots of such trend. Asians, similar to other minority as well as majority groups, commit crimes which can be explained in the same manner as the rest. The assumption is that crimes committed by Asians are different from the crimes committed by other ethnic groups. The question arises – whether the cultural background can impact the predisposition to delinquent behavior. In the course of this research paper, I will try to show that even though Asians commit somewhat different crimes, the delinquent behavior is the result of social interactions and environment they live in rather than cultural peculiarities. Continue reading “Criminal Behavior Research Paper”

Stem Cell Research Research Sample

The contemporary society has a range of problematic ethical issues to discuss. Problems like abortion, gun control, human cloning, animal rights, the death penalty, and others often turn on heated debates as the legislature will be influenced by public opinion and how the one or the other side effectively presents the issue. Of these problems, I would like to focus specifically on issues associated with stem-cell research, in particular on its therapeutic applications in which stem cells are used in the treatment of various health problems. I deliberately leave out reproductive cloning because it is associated with a different range of issues.

The best argument in favor of this therapeutic use is that stem cells obtained through research can rescue human lives and alleviate many problems that incapacitate people and make their lives intolerable. Stem cells can be applied to reproducing unhealthy tissues or organs that fail, causing disruptions in the body. As a result of new technologies, cancer patients could get a new chance as their affected organ could be replaced with a new one. The same is true for those who suffered a heart attack as the damaged part of their heart could be replaced with new tissues. Continue reading “Stem Cell Research Research Sample”

Printing Press Research Paper

printing press is one of the most important technological breakthroughs in the history of humankind. Its invention is described, in addition to the changes the press underwent throughout its history. The impact on the history of humankind is also analyzed.

The Origins of Printing
Although German silversmith Johann Gutenberg is usually credited with the invention of the printing press, the origins of printing are really in China. The first prints were manufactured in China c. 594 from a negative relief; this method involved “rubbing off impressions from a wood block spread along the caravan routes to the West” (Mercer, n.d.). The Chinese also invented paper that provided smooth surface convenient for printing.

From the Far East, printed products were imported in Europe by travelers that brought to the continent so-called “block books,” or pieces of wood with letters or imaged carved on to them (Kreis, 2004). However, this technique was flawed in many ways since it produced results that were not lasting or durable. The blocks did not withstand frequent printing, and by the time of Gutenberg’s invention, many European craftsmen began to experiment with new movable type design of printing that formed the basis for the new printing press. Continue reading “Printing Press Research Paper”

Reading Strategies Research Paper

Fluent reading can be defined as the ability to read aloud and with understanding and expression. Unfortunately, 45% of American students are defined as influent readers.

To improve reading skills following strategies can be implemented:

  • model fluent reading
  • repeated reading in class
  • phrased reading in class
  • enlisting tutors
  • reader’s theater in class

Model fluent reading
The strategy is based on the demonstration of the fluent reading. The teacher should read aloud with great expression demonstrating how fluent reading should sound. It is necessary to use works of different genres like poetry, fairy and folk tales, poetry and other genres that are characterized by abundant lyrical language. Continue reading “Reading Strategies Research Paper”

Israel-Palestine Conflict Research Paper

Israel-Palestine conflict is one of the hottest areas in international relations, surfacing in top world news almost every day. The two parties to the conflict, Israel, and Palestine, have not been able to resolve their controversy for years. In fact, the conflict shows no sign of abating and seems to escalate even further. This paper will consider the background of the Israel-Palestine conflict and try to evaluate it from a theoretical perspective.

The creation of the state of Israel occurred as a result of the Zionist movement that originated in the 1880s that led to intensive Jewish immigration to the places where Jews formerly lived (Pappe, 1999, p. 56). Although this movement gave grounds to the opposition of the Palestinian Arabs that feared marginalization, World War II, and the Holocaust sealed the fate of the locality, urging the adoption of the 1947 UN Partition Plan envisaging the creation of the Jewish state. Continue reading “Israel-Palestine Conflict Research Paper”