Qualitative criminology in online spaces

Authored by: Thomas J. Holt

The Routledge Handbook of Qualitative Criminology

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415659703
eBook ISBN: 9780203074701
Adobe ISBN: 9781135114947


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The Internet and computer-mediated communications (CMCs) have become a ubiquitous part of everyday life around the world. Individuals use email, instant messaging, texting, and social network sites such as Facebook to communicate with others for social and business purposes for hours a day (Zickuhr, 2010). As a result, individuals can now have a robust social life that involves both digital and real-world experiences (see Baudrillard, 1998; Burkhalter, 1999; Ebo, 1998; Garcia, Standlee, Bechkoff, & Cui, 2009; Holt, 2007; Miller & Slater, 2000; Turkle, 1995). People now share a great deal of information about their personal lives through publicly accessible web sites and social networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace (Décary-Hétu & DuPont, 2012; Patchin & Hinduja, 2007; Wolak, Finkelhor, Mitchell, & Ybarra, 2006; Zickuhr, 2010). Forums and chat rooms enable near-real time exchanges of information for communities centered around everything from various sexual fetishes (Durkin, 2007; Durkin, Forsyth, & Quinn, 2006; Jerin & Dolinsky, 2001; Maratea, 2011; O’Halloran & Quayle, 2010; Roberts & Hunt, 2012), white power and hate-group movements (Castle & Chevalier, 2011; Schafer, Mullins, & Box, 2014), and a host of other deviant or criminal behaviors.

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