Constructing Social Systems through Computer-Mediated Communication

Becker, Barbara (1999) Constructing Social Systems through Computer-Mediated Communication. Virtual Reality Society Journal. pp. 60-73.


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The question whether computer-mediated communication can support the formation of genuine social systems is addressed in this paper. Our hypothesis, that technology creates new forms of social systems beyond real-life milieus, includes the idea that the technology itself may influence how social binding emerges within on-line environments. In real-life communities, a precondition for social coherence is the existence of social conventions. By observing interaction in virtual environments, we found the use of a range of social conventions. These results were analyzed to determine how the use and emergence of conventions might be influenced by the technology. One factor contributing to the coherence of on-line social systems, but not the only one, appears to be the degree of social presence mediated by the technology. We suggest that social systems can emerge by computer-mediated communication and are shaped by the media of the specific environment.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Collaborative virtual environments, social conventions, virtual communities, social presence, avatars
Subjects: Philosophie > Philosophische Disziplinen > Medienphilosophie, Theorie der Virtualität, Cyberphilosophie
Depositing User: Stefan Köstenbauer
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2005
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2011 18:51

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