Critical Analysis of Cyberculture Texts

The main argument of cyberculture is whether the Internet or ‘cyberspace’ has affected the ‘real’ society and human interaction. There are two sides to this; has the human race substituted a real life community for an online community? Or have they had to create an online community because we are becoming more detached from society?

Many theorists have investigated and given their views in this text. Karl Marx and the Marxist theory is that capitalism, which is our culture, has caused alienation. From the text, I understood that Marxism suggests that the ‘machinery’ (the Internet in this case) is animated by the workers (the Internet users) and gives the power, skill and strength to them. This could refer to the abilities and opportunities that have been given to society by the creation of the Internet.

This text would appeal to those studying in the fields of media and technology, human interaction, as well as cultural systems. The text includes many theorist views, giving a range of ideas and research relating to the topic. Although it can be slightly confusing for the reader, a lot of relevant comparisons are made that would aid someone in their academic studies if they were writing about cyberculture.

The texts reference how technology has become a major cog in our societal machine, meaning, each generation of the human race are becoming more naturalised to technology and a ‘cyberculture’. Some of the points raised got me thinking about how we, as a race, have progressed to accept a cyberculture as a natural part of our daily lives.

However, towards the end of the text, questions that were raised at the beginning were revisited, suggesting that all of the theories and time spent reading was unnecessary, as not many conclusive points were made.

Still, the text itself showed some interesting opinions, whether or not it was made clear to the audience so that they could understand the concept. A factor that proves the text to be well balanced with research is the amount of references to different areas that were given; journals, films and books were all used as research to back up the points being made.

A key point that was raised in the text is cyberculture and ’cause and effect’. A quote I have selected states: “The media as technology cannot be said to have any direct ‘effects’ on culture at all, since it is made up of the actions, purposes, desires and intentions of human agents.” This was paraphrased from theorist Bruno Latour’s findings.

In my view, as I carried out further research to make sure I fully understood what cyberculture was, I feel that the text we were given was not very clear and concise, and not much progression into my understanding of the topic was made. Although the fact that I had not read the complete text as a whole may have hindered my comprehension. If a notable finding was reached at the conclusion of the text, I think I would have thought the text as being more informative.


Cyberculture: Technology, Nature and Culture.

Karl Marx (1993).

In addition to reading the text, I read a section of David Bell’s theory, titled An Introduction to Cybercultures, which gave me a little more understanding.