From the same journal

From the same journal

Monsters in cyberspace: cyberphobia and cultural panic in the information age

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • B. Sandywell


Publication details

JournalInformation, Communication and Society
DatePublished - Feb 2006
Issue number1
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)39-61
Original languageEnglish


This paper explores popular attitudes toward the Internet (and computer-mediated communication more generally) by mapping some of the more threatening, transgressive and 'monstrous' images associated with cyberspace. An account of risk consciousness is developed in three parts: (1) comparisons with earlier information technologies reveals similarities and differences with regard to public attitudes toward cyberspace and its risks; (2) the development of a model of contemporary teratological space derived from images of boundary-dissolving threats, intrusive alterities and existential ambivalences created by the erosion of binary distinctions and hierarchies; and (3) possible historical and sociological explanations of cyberpanic drawing on recent theorizations of globalization (capitalism/information society theory, risk society theory, reflexive modernization theory, and alterity theory).

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