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Course Final Paper Introduction With the rapid development of computer technology and the Internet over the past decade, language researchers have begun to study the area of computer-mediated communication CMC. Although there is a growing body of research of various linguistic features of synchronous CMC, there is currently very little, if any, research into the most newly developed type of synchronous CMC: that of Internet video chat Publkc. Specifically, this study examines how new members negotiate entry with current chat room participants into ongoing chat sessions. In doing so, this study examines factors that contribute to successful and unsuccessful entry into IVC. Additionally, the study draws on Coupland et al.
Course Final Paper Introduction With the rapid development of computer technology and the Internet over the past decade, language researchers have begun to study the area of computer-mediated communication CMC. Although there is a growing body of research of various linguistic features of synchronous CMC, there is currently very little, if any, research into the most newly developed pbulic of synchronous CMC: that of Internet video chat IVC.
Specifically, this study examines how new members negotiate entry with current chat room participants into ongoing chat sessions. In doing so, this study examines factors that contribute to successful and unsuccessful entry into Cha. Additionally, the study draws on Coupland et al.
In the sections that follow, these notions are briefly discussed in turn. Linell further explains that intersubjectivity refers to shared and mutual understanding p. With this sociological view of communication, it is possible to identify and explain instances in interaction where understanding and misunderstanding lo occur. Coupland et al. Each level represents a classification of miscommunication, increasing in complexity and contextualization from 1 to 6: at Level 1, miscommunication is seen chag an inherent aspect of communication and, as such, unproblematic; at Level 6, miscommunication is idealogically considered problematic in that it disadvantages the targeted social groups.
At Level 5, which seems most appropriate for the current study, miscommunication is seen as resid[ing] in group and cultural phenomena, and may be able in terms of code-based or other cultural differences in behaviors, beliefs, or construals. What factors contribute to an unsuccessful entry into IVC?
Literature Review At this point in time, very few, if any, studies have been conducted that look into linguistic features of IVC. In my extensive literature search, I have not been able to locate even one study of IVC per se, although several studies do make mention of IVC as a future research area. The majority of these studies focus primarily on the text-linguistic resources employed by interlocutors as they negotiate successful conversation openings, although ramifications of linguistic choices and problem points are also discussed by some researchers.
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While these researchers were interested in the text-linguistic resources that members employed in IRC openings, they also seem to have been equally interested in the technological features of the IRC program that regulate openings, and the ways in which members utilized these features in conjunction with their text-linguistic resources to negotiate entries.
Of additional relevance to the current study is a paper by Surratt that looked into the socialization of participants into online communities, including IRC communities. Taking a participant-observation approach, Surratt found that participants in these communities worked collaboratively to create social systems for appropriate interaction among members, social control of members, socialization of new members, and social stratification of members.
Like most IVC platforms, the domain is organized thematically at the top level, and within each theme, it is organized by chat rooms that follow that theme. Within each chat room, a maximum of 9 participants can at any one time. The IVC platform allows for real-time video and audio streaming, and text messaging.
Interestingly, even though audio streaming is a feature of this IVC platform, it has been observed repeatedly that participants in chat rooms prefer to use text messaging, and audio chat is very rarely heard.
The data for this study is from one IVC session of approximately one hour and 15 minutes in length, gathered during the spring ofand consisting of a total of 20 participants who contributed approximately turns in all. The IVC program used for gathering this data is similar to other IRC programs in that it records all interaction in the chat room onto a chat log visible to all participants. However, the chat log is not saved permanently.
Therefore, before I logged out of the chat room, I copied the entire interaction and pasted it into a word processing document for permanent storage and later analysis. Permission was granted on the condition that the chat room and its participants remain anonymous; therefore, there will be no further discussion of the IVC publid, the chat room per se, or identities or descriptions of the participants.
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In addition, as a regular participant of the chat room from which the data is drawn, I provide further analysis as a participant-observer where appropriate. The transcript that follows is reproduced in its entirety, without modification, except to change names to pseudonyms in order to protect participant identities and to add line s to aid in the analysis.
Analysis and Discussion My objective in this study is to better understand entry into IVC; therefore, the focus of my analysis will be those points in the data where this occurs. That understood, many interesting features of IVC not directly associated with entry e. However, it will be necessary to address certain features of IVC indirectly associated with the act of entry as these acts naturally occur in the data, in order piblic provide a thorough analysis.
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In this section, then, I will provide analysis and discussion of nine extracts from the data in order to answer my research questions. In the first extract, two chat room participants acknowledge the entrance of a new member with repeated greetings.
This provides an example of chat room participants acknowledging the new member as the new member announces entrance, and is one method of gaining successful entry into IVC. Extract 1. Afterwards, in line 7, mona greets gr8m using the exact wording as gina in line 1. In line 10, gr8m replies directly to mona and gina, which indicates that his greeting in line 2 was not directed at gina. Roomx, the most likely conclusion is that gina and gr8m constructed and sent their greetings in lines 1 and 2 at the same time, resulting in the chat room equivalent of overlapping speech see discussion in Crystal,pp.
This also is a feature common to chat room discourse Crystal, It seems that this is considered acceptable practice because gr8m has already been acknowledged by room participants; it is not necessary that the other participants acknowledge gooms presence in the chat room. And in fact, if all of the participants acknowledged each new member into the chat room, this could cause frequent confusion and communication breakdowns see Crystal, There are probably two reasons for this.
First of all, roomx the fact that the chat room software supports live video, gr8m returns the greeting visually by waving, making a written response unnecessary. Additionally, a continued exchange of pleasantries at this point would be in competition with the current topic of conversation in which mona is currently engaged.
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Chxt greeting is repeated again by gina in line It is not clear why this is done, although perhaps it is due to the uniqueness of the greeting in this chat room. Also noteworthy regarding this extract is the fact that gr8m is known to be a regular participant in this particular chat room, therefore, he is familiar to several of the chat room participants, especially gina and mona.
This might have an influence on the greeting sequence seen in this example. That is to say, since gr8m is known to some of the chat room participants, he is acknowledged before announcing his entrance. Although this feature of IVC entry is not well-understood, it will be addressed in further sections of this paper in comparison to other types of entry. In this particular example, as with thea chat room participant acknowledges the entrance of a new member first, before the new member announces entrance.
Also note that mona does not employ handle shortening in her greeting, which further indicates that the two interlocutors do not know one another. In linemercury responds with a question greeting directed at the entire chat room. Again, as in Extract 1. Additional acknowledgements are therefore unnecessary. Also worthy of note is the fact that mona is one of the moderators of this particular chat room, and as such, she has the power to accept new members or reject them by either removing them from the room temporarily or banning them from the room for periods of rooms days to several roo,s.
Chat room moderators are responsible for, among other things, making sure that participants follow the chat room rules, which are usually posted outside chat room entrances, and generally facilitating interaction within the chat room for further discussion, please see Paolillo,and Crystal, This is probably the reason why mona is usually one of the first chat room participants to greet new members. As chat room moderator, mona is a high position of power within this particular online community.
The cha extract shows two of the chat room participants acknowledging a new member who responds with a greeting in French. In this extract, it seems that mona employs handle shortening not to promote camaraderie, as was the case in Extract 1.
Perhaps her choice of greeting has to do with her position as a regular, and one of the relatively few, female participants in this chat room. She is known to be a friendly, assertive, and active participant, and although she is in no explicit position of authority, such as the chat room moderator that mona is, she has an almost de-facto position of power due to her gender in this majority-male, adult-content section of the Internet.
It may be that this implicit power relation allows gina to be comfortable enough with her position to regularly employ casual greetings in the chat room. This exchange highlights findings by numerous researchers of the increasing multilingualism of the Internet and of the lo, and acceptance of languages other than English in computer-mediated communication Crystal, Also, after gaining entrance, he does not contribute further to the conversation and exits the chat room in less than one minute for reasons unknown.
In this extract, the new members announce their entrances and are acknowledged by the same chat room participant. This greeting seems to be directed at the entire chat room since cuat chat room participant is specified. Several things are happening here in this extract. First of all, it appears that Dv and mona have constructed and sent questions at the same time, resulting in overlapping speech.
Another interesting feature of this part of Extract 1. Chay question is based on the visual nature of IVC and is in reference to the posted rules of this particular chat room lok state that participants must have their video cameras on at all times and identify themselves by face. As Dv enters the chat room and begins greeting participants, he has his video camera pointed away from himself.
In response, in lineDv apologizes and explains that he is eating; he assumes that the proper behavior is to hide his hcat from the chat room participants. However, he is kol that participants do not mind seeing him eat, so he moves his video camera to point at his face, he is accepted into publkc chat room as a participant, and the conversation quickly moves to a new topic that centers around Dv eating his ice-cream.
As Dv is negotiating entrance into the chat room, another new member, george35, also attempts to gain entrance by supplying a greeting chwt line to the entire chat room. Since george35 is not a recognized, regular participant of this chat room, it is assumed that mona employs this greeting form for the same reasons as found in Extract 1. Once george35 is accepted into the chat room by mona, he makes no contributions to the conversation and exits publlic one minute for reasons unknown.
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In Extract 1. Since these two examples naturally occur together in this extract, it provides an opportunity to compare and contrast the two primary means for successful entry into IVC. As was the case in Extract 1. Based on two extracts 1.
In contrast to the new member entrance, note that with pyblic new member, mona supplies the same shortened roms as gina. Although it seems that Ravis64 has successfully gained entrance into the chat room, he does not engage in the conversation and leaves within a few minutes. In Extract 2. As explained ly in discussions of successful entries into IVC, it is not necessarily problematic if a new member does not announce entrance into a chat room; often times a chat room participant will acknowledge the entrance of a new member, thereby facilitating a successful entry.
However, also as explained ly in the discussion of Extract 1.
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Extract 2. Interestingly, their conversation does not seem to be directed at the new member; rather, it is directed at the active chat room participants. As was the case chta ly discussed extracts, the chat room participants could acknowledge the new member, but this does not happen in this puboic, probably due the deviant behavior of the new member mentioned earlier. Finally, in line 82, more than two-and-a-half minutes later, mona exercises her moderator privileges and removes spermie from the chat room.
Also noteworthy regarding this extract is the fact that line 82 is the only explicit indication up to this point in the transcript that mona is a chat room moderator. Moderators are not identified in any way by this particular IVC program, and it has been observed that moderator status is usually not discussed in any way by chat room pblic, except in those cases where the moderator is also the owner of the chat room.
This aspect of IVC seems to help control the behavior of new chat room members and facilitate interpersonal interaction; new members should be careful about what they say and to whom they say it until they get a feel for the chat room and its participants, lest they risk offending someone and being removed from the chat room. The next two extracts provide additional examples of a chat room participant removing a new member from the chat room; however, in these cases, the new members are removed because they violate posted chat room rules.
Extracts 2. In both cases, an unrecognized new member has entered the chat room without an announcement and with his video camera pointed away from his face.
In fact, both new members appear to be totally nude and have their video cameras pointed at their laps.