Narratives Countering the Democratising Ideal of Discourse in an Online Forum of a Higher Education Institution

Postma , Louise and Blignaut, Anita Seugnet and Swan, Karen and Sutinen, Erkki Alan (2012) Narratives Countering the Democratising Ideal of Discourse in an Online Forum of a Higher Education Institution. In: Proceedings Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology 2012. Murdoch University, Murdoch, pp. 228-243.

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Abstract

This paper describes power inequalities among participants in an online forum at a higher education institution in South Africa. Critical poststructuralist theory informs the study as it investigates how hegemony influences the strategic interaction of participants. An interpretive analysis uncovered elements of a cyclic process of intensified exclusion, inequality and oppression. This took place within a virtual space which is theoretically idealized as an equalizer and promoter of freedom of speech. The process involved in the eliciting of voices is described and the interpretation of subjective accounts tells of the disillusioned experiences of a potential liberating form of technology. Instead of alleviating conflict, the potential of the online forum is subverted and intensifies the alienation of and animosity between participants. Proposals for moderation are made to change the forum to a democratic, inclusive space.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: Cultural Attitudes Towards Communication and Technology, Proceedings > CATaC Conference 2012
Depositing User: Sissi Kemp
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2012 13:08
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2012 13:08
URI: http://sammelpunkt.philo.at/id/eprint/2151

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