Due to the storm and subsequent outages that hit CT last week, my annotated bibliography is not as complete as I originally intended but it's almost there. There are several additional resources I plan to add. The information below builds out a scholary foundation that will evolve into a Literature Review and then a "mock thesis" report as part of my Masters in Media Studies (first year).
Albrechtslund, A. (2008). Online Social Networking as Participatory Surveillance. First Monday, 13(3). Retrieved from http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2142/1949
The author is an Associate Professor at the University of Aarhus in Denmark with a Ph. D. in information studies. The article examines online social networking as a practice in what he calls “participatory surveillance”. The work builds on research from boyd and Ellison regarding online social network sites (SNS) where the SNS plays the role of mediated public. The idea of a mediated public where people “perform” in serious or playful manners aligns with research from Pearson regarding the front-stage and back-stage nature of a SNS. However, the article moves in a new direction by examining behaviors within a SNS from the aspect of surveillance and the act of knowingly allowing oneself to be monitored and tracked by others can be a form of empowerment and perhaps control. By participating in a mediated public collectively, the author also argues that this type of peer-to-peer (lateral) surveillance can be viewed as a shared practice, or a norm that emerges for that environment. For this notion to work, a sense of mutuality needs to exist where participants do not view their “surveillance” as threatening but as an act of constructing identities, sharing information, and meeting friends or strangers.
boyd, d. (2011, October 15). Embracing a Culture of Connectivity | Berkman Center. (video). Retrieved from http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/interactive/events/2011/05/danahboyd
danah boyd, Social Media Researcher at Microsoft Research and affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, discusses how students use media in “social life”. She bases her views on previous research on social network sites (SNS) where people construct an identity (i.e., profile) to a known and/or unknown public. The article discusses how youth repurpose (i.e., appropriation) features (i.e., “like”) and how they connect to friends, creating a public. She also talks about the dynamics of social grooming and how they emerge as people interact on these sites. A SNS allows people to “see” the temporal structures of social life over time; people develop a rhythm in their use of a SNS that helps enable a sense of community. A SNS does cause multiple social structures (high school, college, work) to intersect which represents a collapsing of contexts as public and private boundaries become porous. Media makes the act of making something public easier. Before, things were private by default and public by effort. Media changes that, it makes the act of publicizing things easier re: public by default, private by effort. References to publics as a social space and imagined audiences are similar to concepts raised in Taylor (Social Imaginaries). Her comments regarding publics, privacy, identity, and social control links to concepts in Wellman. Her positions are qualitative and supported through numerous discussions with youth and observations of social media use.
boyd, danah m, & Ellison, N. B. (2007). Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer‐Mediated Communication, 13(1), 210-230. doi:10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x Retrieved from http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/boyd.ellison.html
boyd (Social Media Researcher at Microsoft Research and affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University), and Ellison (Associate Professor, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University), establish the historical foundation for emergence of social network sites (SNS). The analysis catalogs how SNS’s have emerged from 1997 through 2006) and examines how certain sites rose in popularity and why some failed (e.g., Friendster). These sites, the authors argue, have become part of the daily social life of their respective participants. The paper establishes a conceptual definition of certain capabilities that need to exist for a site to be labeled a SNS, including certain technical features (profile, list of connections, comments, and private messaging). While this work focused on the consumer market, it is critically relevant as a scholarly baseline for research into how the concept of a SNS has been applied to business organizations. Leading enterprise software vendors (e.g., Cisco, IBM, Microsoft), have created products that they sell to business organizations based on SNS concepts established in this article.
Boyd, D., Golder, S., & Lotan, G. (2010). Tweet, Tweet, Retweet: Conversational Aspects of Retweeting on Twitter. 2010 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) (pp. 1-10). Presented at the 2010 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), IEEE. doi:10.1109/HICSS.2010.412
In this article, boyd, Golder, and Lotan briefly explain Twitter before assessing one type of Twitter syntax, its “RT” (retweet) function. Twitter’s lack of structured messaging is both a strength and weakness. Twitter creates a more visible and transparent network structure that disperses conversations by not limiting messages to a closed communication channel and group. However, even though Twitter creates a public where conversational engagement and participation is virtually boundless, there are trade-offs. The authors conclude that Twitter creates unavoidable ambiguity. Its broadcast nature causes messages to organically become part of multiple conversations with differing contexts, and with content that can be altered over time. In particular, the retweet function inadequately preserves a sense of authorship, attribution, and communicative fidelity based on observed practices. However, re-broadcasting messages via Twitter’s RT function represents a valuable form of engagement even though it means the loss of an orderly exchange of messages for its participants. Use cases and data samples are used to analyze how retweeeting conventions differ in terms of style, motivation, and content. A structured analytical framework helps categorize the diverse use of retweeting and the implications it has as a conversation practice on authorship, attribution, and communicative fidelity.
Baym, N. (2010). Personal Connections in the Digital Age (1st ed.). Polity.
Baym, an Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies, at the University of Kansas, argues that cyberspace cannot be looked at as something apart from everyday social life. Instead, it should be examined as one of many different types of communication models and how media affects interpersonal and societal relationships. A framework is provided to consistently examine these dynamics in relation to media and the Internet: the interactivity of communication modes, the temporal structure of a medium, the social cues available via that medium and its influence on the ability for personal connections to be maintained, storage and replicability aspects of media, the implications of reach on audience and discourse, and the mobility aspects of media. She argues that these are the primary technological affordances digital media offers.
Mediated communication occurs in the context of broader cultural forces. New technologies offer affordances that may not have been there before and while these affordances emerge, people can have polarizing views on their impact on personal connections. An interesting point made is the notion of society reaching “operational consensus” concerning mediated interactions and associated norms and yet that operational consensus is never stable as a new medium emerges and the process starts all over again.
Burt, R. S. (2010). Neighbor Networks: Competitive Advantage Local and Personal. Oxford University Press, USA.
The author is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. According to Burt, while social networks are ubiquitous, in Neighbor Networks, he argues that advantage in networks is not a given. Association with well-connected individuals does not necessarily provide an advantage – individual agency and the social psychology of networks needs to be considered. Advantages provided via network brokerage also have spillover dynamics into what Burt labels “neighbor networks”. Neighbor networks are the networks of your connections but those which are invisible to you. This point is key given the prominence in business organizations to encourage employee networking with colleagues. If programs aimed at mobilizing networks fail to create social capital between connects and their respective neighbor networks, then those programs become irritating and fail to deliver benefits to participants. Better understanding of neighbor networks and spillover affects can improve insight on processes that lead to formation of social capital.
Burt examines his earlier work conducted on structural holes, brokerage and closure in the context of neighbor networks and spillover affects. Actual business scenarios based on empirical evidence are used to illustrate concepts (e.g., local processes dealing with direct connections vs. distant processes with remote connections), providing a more clear understanding of what makes up closure and brokerage and circumstances as to why each matters. Tactics to leverage brokerage, closure, and neighbor networks are aligned to business strategies. Tying in the need to consider social psychology in addition to structural analysis is a key point throughout the book.
Cole, M. S., & Bruch, H. (2006). Organizational identity strength, identification, and commitment and their relationships to turnover intention: does organizational hierarchy matter? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27, 585-605. doi:10.1002/job.378
The authors focus on the psychological aspects of organizational identity (OI) and commitment (OC) to determine the influence of hierarchy on employee attitudes, behaviors, and well-being. Their findings suggest that a strong OI and OC influences the level of attentiveness and engagement of employees but the degree of agency may vary depending on where that person is situated in the hierarchical level of that organization. However, the authors note that research in this area has been done in a piecemeal fashion and that additional research should investigate how structural factors (such as hierarchy), impacts OI and OC. OI is defined as form of social identification and reflects the ways people define themselves in terms of membership in the organization. OC is defined a member’s (individual’s), emotional attachment to, and involvement with, the employing organization, including acts of citizenship.
Organizations ascribe multiple membership affiliations to employees. Knowing more about which memberships are more relevant in influencing OI and OC. If employees self-categorize themselves based on visible hierarchical boundaries that are formal, that can also be perceived as a social categorization as well which in turn reinforces how social groups (circles) are formed. If social category is defined by hierarchical level, then different membership groups will have differing reference frameworks for how they process and interpret information. They will also respond differently to efforts to improve their OI and OC. For instance, such situations can influence employee decisions to stay or quit.
The authors are from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland in its Leadership and Human Resource Management department.
Ellison, N., (2011, October 15). Benefits of Facebook “Friends” | Berkman Center. Retrieved from http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/interactive/events/luncheon/2011/06/ellison
Nicole Ellison, Associate Professor, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University, examines how technical and social affordances in Facebook contribute to formation of social capital. Ellison provides an overview of her research and explores bridging social capital (weak ties) and how weak ties create more network diversity and diverse information flows. She specifically discusses how “question asking” (QA) mobilizes information resources in a network. SNS and use of news stream lowers transaction costs; easy to glance and interact with weak ties. Ellison discusses signals of attention, reciprocity, social grooming, and a set of behaviors called “Cultivation of Social Resources” (CSR). CSR occurs when people explicitly respond to friend with expectation of reciprocity in the future. CSR signals attention, affirms the relationship, and can influence the news feed of the social network site (technology algorithm). CSR can activate dormant ties. Responding to a birthday is also a form of CSR (signal that you are paying attention). As social capital is bridged across weak ties, CSR (e.g., signals of attention, social grooming), creates a future base (norms of reciprocity) for subsequent information seeking behaviors. She bases her research on both qualitative and quantitative methods.
Foot, K., & Groleau, C. (2011). Contradictions, transitions, and materiality in organizing processes: An activity theory perspective. First Monday, 16(6-6). Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3479/2983
The authors examine the evolution of work practices in times of change and the contradictions actors are faced with that are inherent within that change. Multiple levels of contradictions are defined (primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary) and discussed in the context of activity theory. Using the perspective of cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT), the author’s link CHAT concepts related to tool-mediated activity to inspect socio-organizational relations. Communicative interactions are often tool-mediated but should be examined not as small fragments but as part of a longer-term social fabric. Much of the interpretation of activity theory and chat is based on the work of Yrjö Engeström. Four levels of contradiction trigger what Engeström refers to as “expansive learning cycles”. Focusing on the evolution of relationships as actors traverse such contradictions (in turn leading them through expansive learning cycles) enables researchers to form a better understanding of how organizing processes emerge and evolve over time. For instance, the authors include a model that maps the four contradictions to epistemic actions (actions that uncover information). These occur collectively (questioning, analyzing, modeling, examining, implementing, reflecting, and consolidating) and are embedded within an expansive learning cycle. This viewpoint seems to balance the view of structuration theory regarding the ability of CHAT to provide a better means to inspect organizational communication and the collective practices of people in those organizations. Kirsten Foot is Associate Professor of Communication at the University of Washington. Carole Groleau is Associate Professor of Communication at the Université de Montréal.
Gleave, E., Welser, H. T., Lento, T. M., & Smith, M. A. (2009). A Conceptual and Operational Definition of “Social Role” in Online Community. 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2009. HICSS ’09 (pp. 1-11). Presented at the 42nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2009. HICSS ’09, IEEE. doi:10.1109/HICSS.2009.6
In real life, people take on social roles that are defined by their actions rather than being formally defined. In this paper, the authors argue that the same situation exists online and that these social roles can be identified. Understanding social roles is important when understanding online communities. The paper describes the conceptual framework as well as methods for analysis and measurement. Usenet and Wikipedia are used as examples.
Social roles are both enabled and constrained by social structure, argue the authors. Social roles are based on identity theory. The concept helps classify types of social relations and behaviors into archetypes, reducing complexity and leading to a better understanding of community dynamics. This can help not only researchers but also designers and managers of online community spaces (e.g., better technology mediation). A social role is a cultural object, recognized, and accepted by those in the community even though a particular social role is not explicitly “called out” as such. Social roles have distinctive foundations, even if they are not visible to community members. The authors offer a framework for operationalizing social roles by analyzing actions and relations that act as structural signatures. Complex networks can subsequently be understood by examining “role ecologies”. In turn, one can examine how media (e.g., micro-blogging, discussion forum, wiki) influences social roles. The author, Mark Smith, has a long and well-known history in the field. He once worked for Microsoft Research.
Pearson, E. (2009). All the World Wide Web’s a stage: The performance of identity in online social networks. First Monday, 14(3), 1–7. Retrieved from http://firstmonday.org/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/2162/2127
The author examines social network sites (SNS) and issues related to identity construction and performance. There is a “front-stage” and “back-stage” that should be considered when trying to understand how people interact with others on a SNS. The back-stage represents a more private space, reserved for interactions that are more relaxed and conducted with more familiar contacts (likely strong ties). The front-stage is where people are on display, engaging with others in visible ways. Here, individuals are more likely assume the identity they want to represent to that broader public (both strong and weak ties). People perform these roles using a variety of mechanisms that sometimes may resemble codes and signs developed over time that are more recognized by one audience than another. Because these interactions occur in the front-stage, others watching may be surprised at what is being shared, but may also not understand the context of what is being shared. A SNS enables people to invest a little into a weak tie to see if it is worth the heavier investment of a strong tie. The SNS also enables someone to more easily maintain a larger network of weak ties (e.g., the occasional “Hi” comment, “Like gesture”, etc.). Members of a SNS can alter their “presentations of self” to be playful or to be more purposeful. To some extent, this is done in relation to their front-stage network. Erika Pearson, Ph..D. is a senior lecturer, Department of Film, Media and Communication, University of Otago, New Zealand, focusing on digital and visual culture, new media, and social interaction online.
Prati, L. M., McMillan-Capehart, A., & Karriker, J. H. (2009). Affecting Organizational Identity: A Managers Influence. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 15(4), 404.
The authors examine issues related to organizational identity (OI) through the lens of relational coordination (RC), the manager role, and managerial influence. RC is defined as the management of task interdependencies, carried out in the context of relationships. RC can be considered as the operationalization of the social exchanges that occur within organizations. Since OI is a cognitive variable, the emotional intelligence of managers and their ability to create what the authors describe as a “clan culture” is improved via RC techniques. The result is a strong sense of OI by those participating in the organizational environment.
The paper argues that the manager-subordinate relationship plays a huge role in construction of OI. Therefore, managerial emotional intelligence is a key component since they are in the role of expressing organizational directives and values. Their argument is built on other research studies that show correlation between emotional intelligence and effective leadership. The term manager and leader are used interchangeably in the paper. By creating a clan culture, managers enable participants to hold positive organizational identities. RC provides a means and that end (a strong OI). As such, communication (use of media) also has strong influence on OI. A positive and open communications environment helps subordinates positively identify with the organization. The authors acknowledge that there is much to be done in this field of research and that this paper focuses only on the manager’s influence.
Stirling, W., & Felin, T. (2011). Social Choice in Organizations. SSRN eLibrary. Retrieved from http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1939336
Wynn Stirling, Ph.D, is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Brigham Young University who examines non-traditional decision theory in addition to other areas. T. Felin is an Associate Professor, Organizational Leadership & Strategy at Brigham Young University. The authors explore the topic of “social choice” in the context of the firm. The framework of analysis is limited to conditional preferences and the influence of hierarchy and social coherence on choosing among those preferences. The issue of “coordinatability” is also factored into the analysis; specifically that coordinatability is a structural attribute of the firm, not a performance attribute. The authors note that social choice often involves conflicts in values and that compromises need to be considered by those involved in making decisions based on conditional preferences. The article does not dive into what is a right or wrong concerning social choices, just that they are influenced by factors such as hierarchy and belief systems (social coherence). This facet of research seems to have an intersect with the concept of relational coordination and organization identity raised in other scholarly works.
Taylor, C. (2003). Modern Social Imaginaries. Duke University Press Books.
Taylor’s illustration of a Western social imaginary connects three points: a new moral order, the rise of individual self-awareness, and the emergence of a public sphere. Social imaginaries are influenced by how Taylor views a shifting moral order. As societal practices moved away from command and hierarchy, people formed a new level of self-awareness that previously was inconceivable. Identity formation outside historical social structures (i.e., family, tribe) enabled people to see themselves as free individuals. The disassociation of oneself from one social structure to embrace other possibilities transformed an individual’s “imaginary” regarding what was now possible within their social existence. According to Taylor, the interplay between the social imaginary, moral order and self-awareness gave rise to a new type of social space where people could exchange ideas. This “public sphere” became a locus for interaction that enabled society to form a common mind – a collective opinion that subsequently emerged as a new political force. The existence of a public sphere is enabled by the social imaginary. Media (e.g., print, electronic) provides a means for participants in the public sphere to intercommunicate and make their collective views more widely known. As these exchanges take shape, they can be thought of in terms of “public opinion”. Charles Taylor is a Canadian philosopher currently teaching at McGill University (Philosophy department). He is widely known in the field.