Structures of social inequality and new forms of power inevitably arise inside the social space within the modern Internet despite the idea that Internet is a means of free communication based on the equality of users. The influence of traditional social inequality forms is absorbed and reduced within computer-mediated communication, so we suggest a hypothesis about emergence of radically new social resource. The paper presents the approach to study a virtual community as a social field (in terms of Bourdieu theory). The aim of this study is to measure and evaluate the contribution of different types of capital to unequal distribution of power within community. The author has developed the analytical matrix of social integration types provided by different web technologies, formulated the concept of communicative capital, operationalized different types of capital in cyberspace. Finally, the author presents the results of his empirical research showing and interpreting the distribution of different types of capital between two groups of users – moderators and ordinary users.

Keywords: virtual community, social field, social inequality, communicative capital, social structure of cyberspace, Internet studies, Bourdieu, Luhmann.