A virtual ethnography into the gendered communication styles and identities of the womengamers.com community

Delfan-Azary, Louise (2008) A virtual ethnography into the gendered communication styles and identities of the womengamers.com community. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Abstract

    The aim of this dissertation is to investigate how surroundings can change the way in which identity is formed through communication, with specific reference to gendered identity online. The forum of the gaming community website womengamers.com is investigated. The internet and associated technology has been seen as a masculine arena for many years; however, recent statistics and studies are beginning to suggest otherwise. The digital sex divide is starting to be bridged. There has been much writing on the subject of identity, community, masculinity and femininity. Iconic pieces such as Tonnies' (2001) community definitions, Haraway's (1991) Cyborg Manifesto and Herring's (1993, 1996, 2000) many studies into communication styles are approached. These concepts are critically studied and applied to the findings from the virtual ethnography. There is evidence to suggest that males and females have a different communication style. Earlier research into communication styles relating to gender online suggest that the majority sex of a community determine the dominant communication style (Herring, 2000). It has been found that males and females use emoticons and exclamation marks in different ways (Witmer and Katzman, 1997; Waseleski, 2006). There is also evidence to suggest there are difference play styles between the sexes. This study combines these, studying the communication styles in a gaming community through a virtual ethnography collecting qualitative and quantitative data. Comparisons are made to the previous studies, taking into account the time that has passed since the supporting studies were conducted. It was observed that there was equality on womengamers.com. Females narrowly held majorities in communication features. From this it is concluded that the communication style is dependent on the community and that womengamers.com is an empowering place for women.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:14
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/517

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