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Article: Putting social context into text: The semiotics of e-mail interaction

TitlePutting social context into text: The semiotics of e-mail interaction
Authors
Issue Date2008
PublisherUniversity of Chicago Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJS
Citation
American Journal Of Sociology, 2008, v. 114 n. 2, p. 332-370 How to Cite?
AbstractE-mail excludes the multiple nonlinguistic cues and gestures that facilitate face-to-face communication. How, then, should interaction in a text-based context be understood? The authors analyze the problems and solutions experienced by a research panel that communicated over e-mail and face-to-face for 18 months, evaluating both kinds of exchanges alongside survey and interview data. Semiotic and linguistic theory is used to expose essential properties associated with the successful communication of meaning in each context. The authors find that e-mail requires the cultivation of new techniques for specifically conveying the "pragmatic information" that connects the meaning of words to their users. Such information is assigned in e-mail through the use of what are termed emphatic, referential, and characterizing semiotic tactics. These tactics are also evident in sustained online interactions studied by other researchers. This theoretical vocabulary represents an alternative to the dominant sociological characterization of e-mail as an inferior substitute for face-to-face interaction. © 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/141740
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 2.574
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 4.096
ISI Accession Number ID
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorMenchik, DAen_HK
dc.contributor.authorTian, Xen_HK
dc.date.accessioned2011-09-27T02:59:55Z-
dc.date.available2011-09-27T02:59:55Z-
dc.date.issued2008en_HK
dc.identifier.citationAmerican Journal Of Sociology, 2008, v. 114 n. 2, p. 332-370en_HK
dc.identifier.issn0002-9602en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/141740-
dc.description.abstractE-mail excludes the multiple nonlinguistic cues and gestures that facilitate face-to-face communication. How, then, should interaction in a text-based context be understood? The authors analyze the problems and solutions experienced by a research panel that communicated over e-mail and face-to-face for 18 months, evaluating both kinds of exchanges alongside survey and interview data. Semiotic and linguistic theory is used to expose essential properties associated with the successful communication of meaning in each context. The authors find that e-mail requires the cultivation of new techniques for specifically conveying the "pragmatic information" that connects the meaning of words to their users. Such information is assigned in e-mail through the use of what are termed emphatic, referential, and characterizing semiotic tactics. These tactics are also evident in sustained online interactions studied by other researchers. This theoretical vocabulary represents an alternative to the dominant sociological characterization of e-mail as an inferior substitute for face-to-face interaction. © 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.en_HK
dc.languageengen_US
dc.publisherUniversity of Chicago Press. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJSen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofAmerican Journal of Sociologyen_HK
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.titlePutting social context into text: The semiotics of e-mail interactionen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailTian, X: xltian@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityTian, X=rp01543en_HK
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_versionen_US
dc.identifier.doi10.1086/590650en_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-54349123858en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros221936-
dc.identifier.hkuros206451-
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-54349123858&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume114en_HK
dc.identifier.issue2en_HK
dc.identifier.spage332en_HK
dc.identifier.epage370en_HK
dc.identifier.eissn1537-5390-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000260187000002-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Statesen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridMenchik, DA=6507353705en_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridTian, X=25621970800en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike3665640-

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