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Amidst the sensationalist claims about the dangers of the Internet, Virtually Criminal provides an empirically grounded criminological analysis of deviance and regulation within an online community. It integrates theory and empiricism to forge an explanation of cybercrime whilst offering new insights into online regulation.
One of the first studies to further our understanding of the causes of cyber deviance, crime and its control, this groundbreaking study from Matthew Williams takes the Internet as a site of social and cultural (re)production, and acknowledges the importance of online social/cultural formations in the genesis and regulation of cyber deviance and crime.
A blend of criminological, sociological and linguistic theory, this book provides a unique understanding of the aetiology of cybercrime and deviance. Focus group and offence data are analyzed and an interrelationship between online community, deviance and regulation is established.
The subject matter of the book is inherently transnational. It makes extensive use of a number of international case studies, ensuring it is relevant to readers in multiple countries (especially the US, the UK and Australasia). Pioneering and innovative, this fascinating book will be of interest to students and researchers across the disciplines of sociology, criminology, law and media and communication studies.
1. Introduction 2. The Internet, Crime and Society 3. Control in Cyberspace 4. Establishing Online Community 5. Online Deviance 6. The Mechanics of Online Harmful Activity 7. Order in Cyberspace: Punishment, Shaming and Mediation 8. Community, Deviance and Regulation beyond Cyberworlds