Document Type


Publication Date



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Social Work


The Internet was at its inception a commons rather than a marketplace. Increasingly, however, communitarian notions have been overwhelmed by the internet as one huge shopping arcade. The potential is certainly there for this amazing technology to advance the causes of human freedom well-being and community. At the same time, however, this powerful set of technologies that in less than a decade have become nearly universal in scope and sweep, have the potential also to become simply another extension of the global economic marketplace. Far worse, there is also the potential to become a power tool for class domination or a simple reinforcement of existing and future inequalities.

Source Citation

A revised version of this manuscript was published as Practice in the Electronic Community. Encyclopedia of Community Practice. Marie Weil, editor. Sage. 2001. 636-645.



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