2 edition of America online and offline: The relationship of personal networks to email and other communication media. found in the catalog.
America online and offline: The relationship of personal networks to email and other communication media.
Jeffrey Alan Boase
Written in English
This dissertation examines email"s utility for maintaining contact with large numbers of ties. I argue that although email lacks the rich sensory feedback that is available through synchronous communication, this apparent weakness makes it a useful medium for those who are highly connected. Email"s asynchronous nature helps these people avoid scheduling conflicts and keeps them in close contact with their many social ties. I further argue that the extent to which highly connected individuals use email is shaped by the kinds of ties that they have in their networks, the extent to which they use email in conjunction with other communication media, the strength of their ties, and their demographic characteristics. I examine these issues by analyzing data collected from a national telephone survey of 2,200 Americans. In general, my analysis shows that the more ties people have in their networks, the more they use email. However, the association between the number of ties that people have and their use of email is stronger when ties permit high amounts of choice in determining who is contacted and how that contact takes place. For example, friendship and work ties tend to be more strongly associated with email use than do kin ties, and ties that live outside of the neighborhood are more strongly associated with email use than are neighbor ties. This analysis also suggests that when ties permit high amounts of choice, email is used both as the primary mode of contact and as a supplement to contact that takes place in-person and by telephone. By contrast, when ties do not permit high amounts of choice, email is used mainly as a supplement. Finally, this analysis shows that although demographic characteristics lead people to become email users, it is network size that affects the extent to which they use email. I conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for the social affordance approach, the concept of media multiplexity, and digital inequality.
|The Physical Object|
|Number of Pages||249|
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