FREE ELECTRONIC LIBRARY - Dissertations, online materials

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 23 | 24 || 26 | 27 |   ...   | 33 |

«NETWORKING IN EVERYDAY LIFE by Bernard J. Hogan A thesis submitted in conformity with the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy ...»

-- [ Page 25 ] --

Even presidential candidates have a direct line regardless of place, as 2008 Republican aspirant Rudolph Giuliani illustrated with notorious (and possibly staged) cell phone calls from his wife during campaign speeches (Dobbs, 2007). But cell phone numbers are not listed in a comprehensive and searchable directory. Neither are emails nor instant message handles. Moreover, even if one’s landline number is listed, one might be at the office under a different number. From one perspective, this is a complete mess. Gone are the earlier days where everyone’s name was listed neatly in a phonebook found on every desk, or in every kitchen. Instead, people rely on a hodgepodge of address books, post-its, memory, past email messages, numbers scribbled on backs of used envelopes, and infrequent calls to others asking “do you happen to have her number?”1 From another perspective though, this is a sensible response to a need to regulate social accessibility. The unsolicited contact industry is big business. Easily searched directories mean easily exploited targets for direct mail, telemarketers, and See pages 184-187 of Wellman and Hogan (2006) for a more complete discussion of the use of such tools to manage contact information.

–  –  –

spam. Both the Canadian government and the American government have put in place standards to ensure this privacy (Katz, 2006; Gatehouse, 2005). Now privacy, vis-´ -vis the choice to whom people give their number, has greater value than the dia rectory. Now, individuals selectively give out their contact numbers to others on the assumption that it helps regulate their availability. For example, Licoppe and Heurtin (2001) show that increased exchange of mobile phone numbers between individuals leads to a very clear increase in communication between those individuals.

Within this context of shifting accessibility and the unsettling adoption of new technologies, I can ask if there are any guiding themes to the way individuals organize their access to each other, and by what media. Several scholars have made compelling contributions to this question. Many of these contributions rest on qualitative assertions of actors as ‘rational’ in how they decide which media to use, and to a lesser extent who they use it with (Madell and Muncer, 2005; Kling, 1980). Among them, Haythornthwaite has made an especially relevant contribution vis-a-vis her doctoral work and subsequent study of distance learners. Along with Wellman, she coined the term “media multiplexity” to stand for the way individuals have multiple points of access across several media (Haythornthwaite and Wellman, 1998). She contends that there is a strong relationship between the tie strength between ego and alter and the number of media shared between ego and alter. In short, the stronger the tie, the more media used.2 This hypothesis offers a powerful explanation for the usage patterns of media within personal networks. Moreover, the relationship between media use and tie strength was presaged in Zerubavel’s original discussion of social accessibility.

[G]iving others one’s telephone number—especially if it is not listed in the A note on language is apt here. When I discuss tie strength, I am referring to socioemotional closeness, the datum used throughout this dissertation. However, given that I discuss both socioemotional closeness and spatial proximity (physical closeness), it is perhaps easier on the reader if I simply refer to tie strength and proximity, and use the word “closeness” as little as possible.


telephone directory—is a most significant act of displaying accessibility to them. Aside from the practical significance of granting them actual access to one, it also serves the function of symbolically incorporating them into a selective and exclusive social circle of intimates (Zerubavel, 1985, 145-6).

However, it is really the case that individuals give greater access to those with whom they have stronger ties? Since tie strength is a multidimensional construct combining frequency, reciprocity, affect, and self-disclosure (Granovetter, 1973; Marsden and Campbell, 1984), do these factors congeal into a single force acting on the way individuals regulate their accessibility? Or rather, is it the case that media multiplexity has previously been under-specified. Granted, tie strength may correlate with increased access and use of media, but that is not the whole story. Rather, several factors such as the embeddedness of the alter, their proximity to ego, their role and even the age of ego and alter can play a part in explaining differences in the number of media used. Thus, I conclude this chapter with a discussion of a more general paradigm that incorporates many of Haythornthwaite’s ideas (such as latent tie theory) into a more general understanding of networking as the regulation of social accessibility.

This chapter again uses data from the Connected Lives project. Like the last chapter on the organizing principles of networks, this chapter relies on the social networks captured during the interviews. For each interview we performed a ‘minisurvey’ of selected alters in the networks. These alters were carefully selected using a speciallydeveloped algorithm that ensures there is equal weight given to a diverse set of alters that were both very close and somewhat close. Details about this particular sampling technique have been addressed in Chapter 4 as well as Hogan et. al. (2007). In short, I assert that these sampled individuals fairly represent the social network as a whole.

The minimum number of minisurveys per network is 3 (which was every individual included in one respondent’s small network) up to 15 (which was the specified cut-off

–  –  –

age, spatial proximity and media use.

7.2 Media multiplexity hypothesis explained In “Social Networks and Internet Connectivity Effects”, Haythornthwaite (2005) lays out a coherent and extensive set of theoretical propositions about the ways that the Internet may shape personal networks and networking. This is not done with the Internet as the focal point, but as one of many ways in which individuals communicate.

This is an example of the sort of holistic analysis of communication media that I seek to pursue. These propositions are based on prior work she has done with Wellman and other collaborators about the role of media use within an organization. Three

propositions are as follows:

• Media multiplexity: Those more strongly tied use more media.

• A unidimensional scale of media use: There is a single unidimensional scale of contact with peers akin to a Guttman scale of media use. Guttman scales are ways of ordering preconditions. For example, one would have a telephone before using email, and then use email before using instant messenger.

• Latent tie theory: The addition of a new media into an existing media ecology enables individuals to access alters that they would not otherwise access.

These three propositions lead to a perspective of media use that I term the “Fort Knox theory of social connectivity”. Everyone who works at Fort Knox gets a key to the front door. Likewise, everyone in the personal network gets to interact with ego by one keystone medium/context, presumably in-person interaction. Those who are not merely weak ties also get access to the inner areas of the vault (i.e., they can access ego by the email) while those who are the strongest ties actually have access to

–  –  –

telephone and via email. Adding another media is like building another wall around Fort Knox—more people can get inside the first door or maybe an alternate door, but it is still just as difficult to get into the control room and the vault.

I believe there is a lot of truth to this metaphor. Individuals do guard their privacy and seek to maintain social accessibility. However, as was shown in Chapter 5 on media styles, it is difficult to suggest that in everyday networks there is a single scale of media use, at least one that unilaterally applies to all sorts of networking styles.

For the group in that chapter that used all media infrequently (termed the “all light” group), there was an inverse correlation between frequency of use of mobile phones and email. Those who supplement the core of in person and telephone contact did so in different ways, suggesting a certain media preference. Also those individuals who mainly networked in person used cell phones more than landlines to supplement their planning. Hence, one can see that people prefer to use a select combination of media that is conditioned by the alters they need to access, but is neither determined by them, nor by a single unifying scale. So in that chapter I referred to an ecology of media styles, rather than a nesting of media styles. Similarly, in everyday networks, as opposed to academics or students, the mere reason for being in the network can vary significantly. In Haythornthwaite’s studies, as well as the study by Koku et al.

(Haythornthwaite, 2005; Koku et al., 2001), individuals are all at least ‘peers’, either as academics or students. In everyday life, however, there is not the same base reason for being included in the network—some are friends, others family and others still are organizational members. This means that the institutional norms that might encourage email as a first point of contact are not so obvious in everyday life; some alters may love email while others do not own a computer. On one hand this makes Haythornthwaite’s studies perfectly suited to testing the media multiplexity hypothesis for they are relatively homogeneous populations all starting from a reasonably static baseline.

–  –  –

that are present in everyday life which might either be absent or muted given the scope conditions of a more controlled organizational setting. Finally, there is the matter of a rather dyadic sentiment, both in the metaphor and in the original work. In Haythornthwaite and Wellman (1998), dyads in the network were considered, although the analysis did not control for the relative prominence of individuals.

One issue with the Fort Knox metaphor, and the theory it represents, is that it seems very dyadic. It is like everyone has their own specific keychain for Fort Knox, and ego is the only person who decides which keys a person holds. However, individuals are not merely accessed through specific pre-ordained media. They are also accessed through triads. A triad means that one party can relay messages between the other two. It also means that one party can relay contact information between the other two. For example, it is common for me to ask my mother for the current contact information of many of my relatives. This is also borne out in the data as 72 percent of the survey respondents report that they ask someone else for a phone number at least monthly. Thus, it seems likely that there is an under-analyzed structural dimension to media multiplexity and that by specifying this dimension I can more fully explain media multiplexity.

Bearing in mind the above theoretical discussion, I present five hypotheses about

the media multiplexity hypothesis:

• Hypothesis 1: Individuals will have role-specific values for media multiplex

–  –  –

As mentioned above, Haythornthwaite’s original work was done among individuals who shared very similar roles, generally as academics. However, in everyday life, individuals are kin, friends, neighbours, and organization members.

This should lead to differences in levels of accessibility.

–  –  –

Above I referred to this analysis as moving beyond dyads towards network structure. Highly connected alters may be gatekeepers to one’s personal network. Regardless of the strength of the relationship between ego and alter, if alter is highly connected, then alter may serve as a gatekeeper in that network.

As a gatekeeper, ego may rely on them for contact with other network members,

–  –  –

This suggests that media have a primarily instrumental purpose for in-person social coordination. Those who are nearer will benefit more from using many media, since it means more ways to coordinate with these individuals. This is especially relevant when people need to access each other in a short time frame— which is more common among individuals who are trying to jointly coordinate in-person social activity. For example, if I am waiting for a friend at a coffee shop and if I cannot reach that friend by calling her landline, then it helps to have her cell number or email address in the hopes that I can reach her.

• Hypothesis 4: Alters in more frequent in-person contact will share greater numbers of media with ego.

This hypothesis works with the above hypothesis that the more frequent individuals see each other in person, the more they will want to reinforce their meetings with mediated contact.

• Hypothesis 5: Controlling for the above factors, tie strength will not be a significant predictor of the number of media used with alter.

–  –  –

works. If they sufficiently capture the relevant dimensions of tie strength as it relates to the number of media used, then tie strength will no longer be significant. However, if the significance of tie strength persists, then there are other aspects of tie strength that are not adequately specified in this model.

Pages:     | 1 |   ...   | 23 | 24 || 26 | 27 |   ...   | 33 |

Similar works:

«ABSTRACT Title of Dissertation: TRANSCRIPT PROFILING AS A METHOD TO STUDY FRUIT MATURATION, TREERIPENING, AND THE ROLE OF “TREE FACTOR” IN ‘GALA’ AND ‘FUJI’ APPLES Shu-fei Lin, Doctor of Philosophy, 2005 Dissertation directed by: Professor Christopher S. Walsh Department of Natural Resource Sciences and Landscape Architecture ‘Gala’ and ‘Fuji’ are two high-quality apple (Malus domestica Borkh) cultivars. Their fruits mature and tree-ripen over a long period of time, and are...»

«Modelling the Temporal Variation of the Ionosphere in a Network-RTK Environment Scott John Wyllie Bachelor of Applied Science (RMIT) Thesis submitted for the fulfilment of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy School of Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences RMIT University GPO Box 2476V Melbourne, Victoria 3001 Australia June 2007 Declaration by the Candidate This thesis contains no material that has been accepted for the award of any other higher degree or graduate diploma in any tertiary...»

«New Forms of Revolt Julia Kristeva Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy Revue de la philosophie française et de langue française, Vol XXII, No 2 (2014) pp 1-19 Vol XXII, No 2 (2014) ISSN 1936-6280 (print) ISSN 2155-1162 (online) DOI 10.5195/jffp.2014.650 www.jffp.org This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. This journal is operated by the University Library System of the University of Pittsburgh as part of...»

«The Social Life of Texts: Reading Zhuang Chuo’s 莊綽 (fl. 1126) Jilei bian 雞肋編 (Chicken Rib Chronicles) by Meghan Cai A Dissertation Presented in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy Approved November 2015 by the Graduate Supervisory Committee: Stephen H. West, Chair Robert Joe Cutter Stephen Bokenkamp Hoyt Tillman ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY May 2016 ABSTRACT This dissertation argues that scholars need to re-evaluate the place of miscellany in the...»

«OPTIMAL CALIBRATION AND TRANSIENT CONTROL OF HIGH DEGREE OF FREEDOM INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES by Tae-Kyung Lee A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Mechanical Engineering) in The University of Michigan 2009 Doctoral Committee: Research Professor Zoran S. Filipi, Chair Professor Dionissios N. Assanis Professor Panos Y. Papalambros Professor Jing Sun Denise M. Kramer, US ARMY TACOM Tae Kyung Lee © 2009 All Rights Reserved...»

«Timaree L Schmit, Ph.D. 215.900.2245 timaree.schmit@gmail.com http://sexwithtimaree.com Curriculum Vitae Education 2010: Widener University: Doctorate of Philosophy in Human Sexuality  Dissertation: “How Body Morphology Changes Affect Preference for Thinness and Attractiveness in Partners Among Women Attracted to Women,” December, 2010  Founding Chair of the Human Sexuality Education Student Organization  Laureate Counselor, founding executive committee member and inductee of Gamma...»

«Compiling Stream Applications for Heterogeneous Architectures by Amir H. Hormati A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Computer Science and Engineering) in The University of Michigan Doctoral Committee: Associate Professor Scott Mahlke, Chair Professor Todd M. Austin Professor Trevor N. Mudge Professor Dennis M. Sylvester Rodric Rabbah, IBM T.J. Watson c Amir H. Hormati 2011 All Rights Reserved To my family ii...»

«THREE-DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS OF TUNNELLING EFFECTS ON STRUCTURES TO DEVELOP DESIGN METHODS by Alan Graham Bloodworth Brasenose College Michaelmas Term 2002 A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford THREE-DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS OF TUNNELLING EFFECTS ON STRUCTURES TO DEVELOP DESIGN METHODS by Alan Graham Bloodworth Brasenose College Michaelmas Term 2002 A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford ABSTRACT The...»

«SEQUENCE EFFECTS IN EVALUATING, SCHEDULING, AND DESIGNING SERVICE BUNDLES A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Cornell University In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Michael James Dixon August 2011 © 2011 Michael James Dixon BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Mike Dixon’s interest in service operations management stemmed from multiple jobs in the service sector that have allowed him to see firsthand the impact that operational...»

«About Heidegger’s call of conscience Cristóbal Holzapfel 1 By Heidegger the conscience is conceived as a call (Ruf). This is framed within the question about a being-a-whole1 (Ganzsein). If the Dasein (human being), conceived in the I Section of Sein und Zeit, Being and time (in the following ‘Bat’) was understood especially as the Dasein between birth and death, within the Existential Analytic being and time have stayed out. What referes to the relationship from Dasein to deatth will...»

«The Theological Reception of the Book of Isaiah in the Nineteenth-Century Church of England By Robert Lewis Knetsch A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of Wycliffe College and the Theology Department of the Toronto School of Theology In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Theology awarded by the University of St. Michael’s College © Copyright by Robert L. Knetsch 2013 THE THEOLOGICAL RECEPTION OF THE BOOK OF ISAIAH IN THE NINETEENTH-CENTURY CHURCH...»

«High hopes and broken promises: Common and diverse concems of Iranian Women for gender equality in education and employment A thesis submitted to the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office In partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy By Minoo Derayeh (7718905) Department of Integrated Studies in Education Faculty of Education McGill University, Montreal, Canada (May 2002) @ Minoo Derayeh, May 2002 National Library Bibliothèque nationale 1+1 of Canada du...»

<<  HOME   |    CONTACTS
2016 www.dissertation.xlibx.info - Dissertations, online materials

Materials of this site are available for review, all rights belong to their respective owners.
If you do not agree with the fact that your material is placed on this site, please, email us, we will within 1-2 business days delete him.