Call#: Van Pelt Library ML3830 .M965 2001
Call#: Van Pelt Library ML3830 .M9822 2005
From the website:
Access for the Community
Blacksburg's community access television station has come a long way since its start in 1986 when WTOB Channel 2 first hit the airwaves with the debut of the Electronic Bulletin Board. Since then, it has undergone many changes to improve service to the Blacksburg community-changes in its channel, its technology, and its programming.
WTOB Channel 2 can be seen on Comcast's cable system in Blacksburg and on the web through online video.
For More Information
To learn more about WTOB, including workshops, producing a program, and receiving programming schedules, please contact us. Email email@example.com or call (540)961-1199.
Despite the fact that it was originally printed in 1987, Rice and Love's essay still provides interesting theoretical material about computer-mediated communication (CMC) in that it seeks to dispel myths that all computer-based communication is unemotional by nature and lack of bandwidth. Among socioemotional content found, they discuss face-saving mechanisms, disinhibition, and "flaming". They created 5 hypotheses about socioemotional content to be measured in the datasets of six weeks of transcripts from the Medsig/Compuserv public computer conference in order to attempt to prove their thesis that CMC over computer networks mirrors participation in real-world communities. While this study does not differentiate variables according to gender, it was interesting to me to read their conclusions that the participants did particpate in socioemotional discourse, although there was no increase in the amount of such discourse over time. I think that if the study were moved to a non-technical forum and increased in physical time length, that the results seen might be very different and more informative.
While I may never actually cite this reference in my work, I think it is a valid reference for email in 1998. While Baron does not focus on gender in email communication, she seeks to provide a history of email and how it linguistically differs from both spoken language and other forms of writing. She puts forth an interesting theory that email could be considered a "creole" language, citing linguistic evidence of "pidgins" that have a highly restricted set of communicative functions while they function as a lingua franca, which matures into a creole as a second and third generation of native speakers grow up in the linguistic community. Since email is less than 40 years old, time will tell if the language used in email will become its own standard with grammar and conventions, or whether it will continue to creolize and adapt to the technological changes of its electronic medium.
In this article, Herring discusses her research into both asynchronous communication via discussion list and synchronous communication via IRC in which women were subject to harassment and demeaning characterizations by men. In both instances, the result was that the affected women fell silent or complied with the male behavioral normatives. I think it is important to note the forums chosen, as there may have been some issues inherent to the discussion which should be considered above and beyond the linguistic patterns. The discussion list was Paglia-L, a group dedicated to discuss the writings of the cultural theorist Camille Paglia, who is often referred to as an "anti-feminist feminist" and who often generates polemical discussions among women as often as in mixed company. The IRC channel was #india which is primarily composed of expatriates from India living in English-speaking countries, and as such, specific Indian cultural patterns may have also influenced the speech found on that channel. What is most useful to me from this essay is how Herring defines harassment online, shows examples of its resistance and escalation, and finally shows how the female participants accommodate or conform to the degrading situation. If these examples can be extended across the internet, it would indicate that male-female communication suffers from similar breakdowns as those that can occur on the job or in any face-to-face situation where harassment may surface and as such, that we have a long way to go to address gender equality online.
Soukup's study focuses upon two chatrooms - one sports-related and male-dominated, and the other female-based and female-dominated. His results support the ideas cited by Tannen and others in linguistic studies of discourse, in that the male chatters were more aggressive, argumentative, and power-seeking than the female chatters. It's unclear to me whether the results can be viewed as reliable or representative, since there may be an inherent social context to a sports-related chatroom/bulletin board that goes above and beyond being merely a male-dominant community. For example, Soukup cites the fact that the sports-related chatroom essentially turned into a locker room replete with profane and sexist language, including sexual put-downs and challenges between male chatters. He goes on to note that when male chatters entered the chatroom of the female-based community, that there was frequent inappropriate behavior such that groups of male chatters would take-over the room with sexist remarks or propositioning of the female members.
Shade's research, although not linguistic in nature, is useful to provide a background into women's roles in constructing the Internet. She begins by reviewing research on gendered uses of various communications technologies, including the telephone, radio, and television. She discusses cyberactivism and feminism, as well as public policy determining women's access to the internet. She cites a case study of women in China and internet access implementation and concludes with a discussion of whether women are merely consumers targeted by merchants or active citizens in an online sisterhood (discussions that we have held in class as well).
In this essay, Frederick examines the question of whether computer-mediated communication is truly a democratic utopia where feminist values can flourish. By studying data from 2 newsgroups, alt.feminism and soc.feminism, she demonstrates that discrimination and exclusion/hostility can continue to occur, even in a supposedly inclusive and politically feminist context. She concentrates on the ethos of the newsgroups as the basis for constructing either a welcoming or distancing communication arena. My interest in this article stems from this notion of ethos because I think that it a highly influencing factor which combines with inherent linguistic features of women's speech to produce a speech community. I believe that any future discussions of the social structure of online communication must address ethos as well as linguistic differences in order to prevent factionalization or balkanization of men and women online, much as one might approach a dialog about multiculturalism and the internet.
In this compilation of essays edited by Jones, the central theme is about how the internet is a virtual culture of its own and how that culture can be described in sociological terms. Of particular interest to me for fan related discourse is Watson's study of the Phish.net fan community, which describes an online fan base of 50K+ members and their interactions. Shaw discusses gender and sexual orientation and internet communities in his essay "Gay Men and Computer Communication: A Discourse of Sex and Identity in Cyberspace", which although does not related to women's speech, does deal with issues of communication and constructed identity. Later in the volume, Dietrich takes on gender and internet journals in their construction of a body politic. Finally, Zickmund addresses the problem of internet hate speech or "cyberhate" and how "the other" is defined online.
While I am not dealing with the subject of "cyberrape" as we read about LambdaMOO in the class assignment, if anyone is interested, Richard MacKinnon has a chapter in this volume titled "Punishing the Persona: Correctional Strategies for the Virtual Offender" which further discusses the rape and subsequent punishment of online offenders at LambdaMOO and elsewhere.