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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 11:16 01/06/2009
Journal Abstracts #303: April 21, 2008

Information, Communication & Society

Journal Name: Information, Communication & Society:
Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2008

Online ISSN: 1468-4462, Print ISSN: 1369-118X


PLAYING WITH FIRE: On the domestication of the mobile phone among Palestinian teenage girls in Israel (p149-166)
Hiyam Hijazi-Omari; Rivka Ribak
This paper offers an analysis of mobile phone practices among Palestinian Israeli teenage girls, framed within a discussion about the domestication of communication technologies, women and the telephone, and Palestinian teenage girls in Israel. The paper constructs a detailed account of mobile phone use among Palestinian Israeli girls who, at the time of the fieldwork (2003-2006), used mobile phones given to them by their illicit boyfriends, unbeknownst to their parents. The analysis explores the ways in which the phone use dialectically reaffirmed and challenged intergenerational and cross-gender relationships; and reflects on the notion of 'domestication' as a framework for analysing mobile communication media.

Keywords: Mobile phone; telephone; technology; domestication; gender; women; teenage girls; courtship; Palestinian; Israel

LITERARY SLEUTHS ONLINE: e-Research collaboration on the Pynchon Wiki (p167-187)
Ralph Schroeder; Matthijs Den Besten
This paper analyzes a Wiki which has been developed for annotating the novel Against the Day by Thomas Pynchon in terms of how it functions as a tool for online research collaboration. The annotation of this long and complex work of fiction has taken place in a very short time, with many contributors and great depth of coverage. We compare this Wiki with an earlier single-authored annotation in book form of a similar novel by the same author. This allows a comparison of technology-mediated distributed collaborative annotation and conventional annotation by a single author in book form. A comparison is made between the kinds of entries made and the patterns of contributions and the strengths and weaknesses of both processes of annotation are analysed. The functions of this Wiki as a tool for supporting the interpretation of the novel and a means of engagement with a notoriously reclusive author are also discussed. Finally, the strengths and weaknesses of this voluntary, amateur and low-tech type of online collaboration are assessed.

Keywords: e-Research; distributed collaboration; Thomas Pynchon; Wikis; online communities

RICHARD & JUDY'S BOOK CLUB AND 'CANADA READS': Readers, books and cultural programming in a digital era (p188-206)
Denel Rehberg Sedo
This article is a result of a transnational comparison of two broadcast book programs' influence on readers' book choices. Online surveys and focus group interviews in Canada and the UK illustrate active audience participation in the converged era of print books, the internet, television and radio. The analysis examines readers' negotiation of book choices through uses and gratifications theory as informed by a cultural critique of the programs themselves. Readers simultaneously respond to and create a hierarchy of cultural tastes that are bound up in the cultural assumptions that they have about the different media.

Keywords: Books; radio; TV; reader-response; Canada; UK; cultural tastes

BEYOND MEDIA PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS: Online multimedia productions as interpersonal communication (p207-220)
Lori Kendall
Although widely viewed as entertainment, online amateur videos also comprise a form of interpersonal communication. In this article the author analyses communication about gender occurring on the Animutation Portal, an online website created by and for members of a subcultural group interested in a genre of animated videos termed 'animutations'. Conversations often cross from text to video and back, creating meaning that is lost if the videos are analysed solely as creative media productions.

Keywords: Participatory culture; video; gender; online communication

FROM TEXT TO GESTURE ONLINE: A microethnographic analysis of nonverbal communication in the Second Life virtual environment (p221-238)
Smiljana Antonijevic
A transition from text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC) to online interaction that includes both textual and nonverbal discourse represents a new development in online communication and a significant challenge to prevailing models for the analysis of CMC. This paper presents results of a six-month-long ethnographic research of nonverbal communication (NVC) in the Second Life (SL) virtual environment. A set of 108 SL locations selected in a non-structured manner provided a wide range of communicative contexts for the analysis of naturally occurring user interaction. The study was focused on the analysis of proxemic and kinesic cues. The results have pointed to a significant difference between user-defined and predefined nonverbal cues, indicating that user-defined NVC has stronger potential to enhance online interaction.

Keywords: Computer-mediated communication; virtual environments; nonverbal communication; Second Life; microethnography

THE PARTICIPATION DIVIDE: Content creation and sharing in the digital age (p239-256)
Eszter Hargittai; Gina Walejko
This paper looks at the prevalence of creative activity and sharing in an age when the barriers to disseminating material have been considerably lowered compared with earlier times. The authors use unique data to explore the extent to which young adults create video, music, writing and artistic photography, as well as the prevalence of sharing such material online. Findings suggest that despite new opportunities to engage in such distribution of content, relatively few people are taking advantage of these recent developments. Moreover, neither creation nor sharing is randomly distributed among a diverse group of young adults. Consistent with existing literature, creative activity is related to a person's socioeconomic status as measured by parental schooling. The novel act of sharing online, however, is considerably different by gender with men much more likely to engage in it. However, once internet user skill is controlled for, men and women are equally likely to post their materials on the Web.

Keywords: Participation; skill; inequality; digital divide; creativity; content; sharing; posting; gender; internet; web; users; digital inequality; digital literacy; music; video; arts

QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWING IN INTERNET STUDIES: Playing with the media, playing with the method (p257-278)
Michelle M. Kazmer; Bo Xie
This methodological paper addresses practical strategies, implications, benefits and drawbacks of collecting qualitative semi-structured interview data about Internet-based research topics using four different interaction systems: face to face; telephone; email; and instant messaging. The discussion presented here is based on a review of the literature and reflection on the experiences of the authors in performing completed research that used those four interaction systems. The focus is on functional effects (e.g. scheduling and other logistics, data transcription and data management), as well as methodological effects (e.g. ability to probe, collecting affective data, and data representation). The authors found that all four methods of data collection produced viable data for the projects they completed, but that some additional issues arose. Five themes emerged that form the organization of the paper: (1) interview scheduling and participant retention; (2) recording and transcribing; (3) data cleaning and organizing; (4) presentation and representation of data; and (5) the detection/presentation of affective data.

Keywords: Qualitative methods; online interviewing; email interviewing; IM interviewing

SPLOGS AND ABANDONED BLOGS: The perils of sampling bloggers and their blogs (p279-296)
Dan Li; Gina Walejko
In this paper the authors explore the problems inherent with sampling bloggers and their blogs, specifically several factors unique to these populations: spam blogs, abandoned blogs, access-restricted blogs, and non-traditional blogs. Reviewing 24 blogging studies, they focus on the four strategies that researchers have employed to sample bloggers and blogs on the Internet: self-selected and convenience samples, sampling through blog hosts, sampling with the assistance of blog aggregators or indexing websites, and sampling from ready-published lists of blogs. They look closely at the practicality of such methods and discuss their tradeoffs. They then examine several techniques that researchers utilize to sample elusive, networked and rare populations in an offline context, emphasizing how they can be applied to sampling bloggers and blogs. In conclusion, they propose that these suggestions be applied to sampling methodologies concerning other Internet-based communities.

Keywords: Sampling; blogs; bloggers; methodology; content analysis; survey; Internet population

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