Strategy for Developing the Research De. Many individuals who use the Internet do so because of its lack of regulation and its anti-authoritarian stance.
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Clearly the key issue with using a resource as disparate as the World Wide Web, is that any research conducted has to contend with sample bias. This becomes a problem roome to the financial costs of access to such resources in terms of background, education, gender and financial capabilities. Only certain types of people will be accessible via chat rooms.
This is less likely to be a problem in the future if policies to give everyone a point of access are met. A relative exclusivity of current use needs is a serious consideration, but it doesn't preclude researchers using it and undertaking informative research. In relation to the present study, issues of stlll and sample bias are of lesser room in comparison to the indicative data being collected.
Clearly there is chat in the study in terms of who is responding and a relative lack of representation of those rooma do not have access to the Internet. However, Urken has demonstrated roome the World Wide Web can be there to good effect, and that it can be used to produce relatively informative and reliable data about Internet users. There is no comprehensive list of individuals who use the Internet, nor is there any certainty about how many different users log on from any particular place.
Those individuals in a chat room may all be separate individuals, but as the present research shows this is not always the case. Confusion can arise partly from individuals having multiple s at ISP's and multiple accesses within the chatroom cf. Fisher et al, If the concern of the survey is to contact regular members of a particular chatroom, then the occurrence of this could be extremely problematic, as the sample would be difficult or impossible to control. Tere, the strategy still in this ropms was primarily a concern to contact individuals who were members of particular chatrooms, as opposed to general ones.
These members may realistically be expected to cluster around their chatrooms and thus the strategy caht ing the chatrooms is bona fide. Some of these reservations were overcome by the eventual correspondence that occurred outside the chatroom environment. Here the author revealed their purpose and identity and invited individuals to use their personal e-mail s and so more regular contacts could be made on a one-to-one basis.
The author roms to bring relationships with the, now, informants to the point of friendship, to the point of intimate form, cht remained important to retain a sufficient element of the 'stranger' to avoid actually reaching intimate form. In general, the are of this role are great; as the researcher is often defined by informants as more 'one of them' than they feel capable of being.
As with all research there is concern over those who do not respond as they may indeed predominately hold different opinions, beliefs or other characteristics from those who volunteered to take part. However, the author was aware of this and the issues that might produce a non-response bias De Vaus Returning to the problem roms the initial covert nature of the research, it was possible that the author could cnat fallen with one group into the situation of 'going native'.
That is incorporating the role into self-conceptions and achieving self-expression in the role. This can result in the observer role being violated. Consequently, cooling-off periods were taken during and after participation before the true identity was revealed. This can only be illustrated after the event 'if' useful data is collected. To become a participant observer requires the investigator to become part of an interaction or situation.
The methods in the context of WWW research involve a of separate techniques - questioning, reading and acting - all done in an attempt to understand a particular group or sequence of action. The researcher tries to share as intimately as possible in the life and activities of the people studied over an extended period of time. Erving Goffman and Co-Presence. Goffman's sociology is one of what Alvin Gouldner called 'co-presence'.
It is a sociology that has as its basic premise the idea that humans cannot help but communicate, cannot help but be aware that others around them are interpreting the world around them.
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It sees individuals as conscious beings manipulating their existence towards certain 'undefined' ends. Two basic assumptions therefore appear to underlie Goffman's view of the universe: Human beings are social; Human beings are reflective, i. These icon based images can range from a cat, to a smiley, a fantasy character to a spanner. They all are symbolic of the presentation of self that the chatters wish to pass across to others.
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I use my avatar to say that I'm cute and cuddly, not aggressive like some of the other news room users. Male It is the interpretation of those stimuli in terms of symbols as they relate to the individual in their special way. The ability to use many different avatars and pseudonyms in chatrooms and yet still retain a sense of community illustrates how individuals are using their interpretative senses to understand the chat going on.
What this paper focuses on in the work of Goffman is that strand of symbolic interaction which he pushes to the extreme - the aspect of conscious manipulation of symbols in face-to-face interaction or encounters. As Goffman intro wrote: "I shall consider the way in which the individual presents himself [sic] and his [sic] activity to others, the way in which he [sic] guides and controls the impression they form of him [sic]and the kind of things he [sic] may and may not do while room his [sic] performance before them".
Two things are important for Goffman and for understanding chatrooms: Human beings act toward things on the basis of meanings that these things have for them; Those meanings are modified and handled through an 'interpretative' process that is used by each individual in dealing with the s they encounter. For example, the author and many others on occasion ed stil chatrooms with different handles. That way we get to see it differently all the time.
I don't always use a different handle, only when I don't want to be bothered by the others or I want to wind them up. Female Sometimes it's obvious whose handle it is, you sortta know the guy and it's him. Male People in each other's presence take steps to ensure that the different roims in a transaction are properly informed about their intentions. In the context of chatrooms this can be extremely difficult, as there is no sight of each other - no visual cues. However, individuals still co-operate and work towards a common goal - a satisfactory outcome for all.
Rpoms Goffman, individuals co-operate sometimes in a mood of desperation, and always with a certain tentativeness to create a certain definition of the situation. Consequently for Goffman the actor may dress themself in the 'appearance' of the identity, value, mood, and attitude that they want the audience to take to be their identity: I went out the other night and had real problems with my girl.
She dumped me after the gig. Said I was using her like my guitar????
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Sometimes I wonder if women are worth it???????! Music chat room Yeah. My Chevy's a 95 convertible like the one rrooms last nights [X-Files] episode. Cool man! X-Files chat room This is not always possible for chatters who do not know the identity of others and so have to take things at face value. All of these are carried out as roojs based probes such as: Oh yeah. The 'carb' on those babes really sucks huh? They recalled them all in '97 for a change.
D'ya get yours done? On occasion these probes are less than subtle if chatters known to them have ed oroms room anonymously: Marty Mcfly, you didn't see the stones in ' You were in high school then! Music chat room Whatever step is accepted by self and other, the paramount consideration is that it must be announced, articulated, and dramatised. Conversations in the chatroom studied were full and complex at times, yet they were dramatised through text. To dramatise then, is to invite or proffer a particular definition of a situation to another, and the other in return dramatises their intentions and an interaction is established.
Like the sound of your voice [sic], fancy coming off-line with me? Sam: Sure, but my wife might not be pleased.
I thought it would be a laugh to take the piss out of the perves. I got fed up with the sexual comments and so I decided to wind them up for a change. Diamond Liz More subtle devices are used to ascertain dramatise things like gender and age and values: Marnie: Hi!
Anyone out there? Tomb Raider: Yes!
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Marnie: Did you see that [X-File episode] last week? All that blood and guts. Great eh? Tomb Raider: Sure was. Can't wait to see Scully neck Mulder Marnie: Yeah!
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He's a dish. Goffman's dramaturgical metaphor. Dramaturgy is a technique of communication rather than drama, i.
Dramaturgy has as its point of departure the premise that when human beings interact, each desires to manage the impressions the other receive of them. Goffman's "The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life" is concerned with laying bare the elaborate strategies by which men and women contrive to persuade others to buy a certain definition of the situation and to accept it at aare value. According to Jacksonrather than passively internalising cultural scripts, individuals actively participate in their emotional lives by 'learning scripts, positioning themselves within discourses, constructing narratives of the self'.
Goffman 's forte is the social positioning of participants as they: Take heed of each other, Makepeace: Hi!
Inspect each other, El Presidente: What do you think we should do in Iraq? How do you know that he hasn't got anthrax? Move away or towards each other, Portent: Well, I guess that's so. Wouldn't like to be around to find out though. Parade before each other, insulate themselves against each other, Makepeace: If you cant see that they are starving, no matter what they've done, then you don't deserve to understand!!!!!!
Make a range of varied adjustments to each other. So you chaf we should let the record companies run the business as they know best? I suppose that is best for big bands, but what chaat the small bands that don't sellCD's???? These involve tthere front region and a back region where individuals construct their identities.
Most chatters have 'off-line' chats with others on a one to one basis where they can form alliances and stlll I tend to say in the chat room things that I know others will support me on. We take time out to meet and discuss issues that are important to us.