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Centre for Urban and
Community Studies
University of Toronto
455 Spadina Ave.
Suite 400
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 2G8

(416) 978-2072
(416) 978-7162




Computer Networks, Communication Networks, Social Networks

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How does the Internet affect everyday life – at work, in the community, and among family members? What are the social impacts of the "glocalization" (globalization + localization) that comes with wired living? What is the nature of reciprocity and social support in an era of "networked individualism”?

NetLab is a scholarly network interested in computer networks, communication networks, and social networks. These scholars are linked to the Centre for Urban and Community Studies, the Department of Sociology, the Knowledge Media Design Institute, and the Faculty of Information Studies. Their overarching interest is in how the Internet affects everyday life: at work, in the community, and among family members.

NetLab scholars are studying:

How loosely-coupled organizations use computer-mediated communication as virtual workgroups.

How social networks affect the productivity of scholars (authorship and citation).

The ties of white-collar teleworkers with office colleagues and family members.

The kind of life online and offline led by the residents of "Netville": a leading-edge wired suburb of Toronto.

The ‘glocalization’ (globalization + localization) that comes with wired living via advanced connections to the Internet and other online services.

The relation of internet use to social capital and skills.

International comparisons of Internet use.

How members of complex, networked organizations discover, access and manage knowledge.

The "double digital divide": Does the lack of mentoring and institutional supports in low-income, segregated areas exacerbate poor people's, women's and minorities' lack of access to computers and the internet?

The interplay between the use of computers, telephones, pagers and faxes.

The nature of reciprocity and social support in an era of "networked individualism".

How multilevel analysis can illuminate the delivery of social support and address theoretical issues of "agency" and "emergent properties".

Barry Wellman (head), Dean Behrens, Eric Fong, and Janet Salaff are active faculty participants in NetLab. Current student participants include Jeffrey Boase, Wenhong Chen, Dimitrina Dimitrova, Melissa Kew, Kristine Klement, Emmanuel Koku, Nancy Nazer, Anabel Quan, and Rima Wilkes. Participants from other organizations include Robert Cross, Kenneth Frank, Thomas Gray, Keith Hampton, and Caroline Haythornthwaite.

Support for research comes from Bell University Laboratories, Communications and Information Technology Ontario, IBM Institute for Knowledge Management, Mitel Networks, National Geographic Society, (U.S.) National Science Foundation, Office of Learning Technologies (HRDC), and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

For further information:

Barry Wellman, tel 416-978-3930
455 Spadina Avenue, Room 418


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