Conference Paper: The Role of Friends’ Appearance and Behavior on Evaluations of Individuals on Facebook: Are We Known by the Company We Keep?
June 25, 2010, 12:00 pm
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Full title: The Role of Friends’ Appearance and Behavior on Evaluations of Individuals on Facebook: Are We Known by the Company We Keep?

Joseph B. Walther 1,2, Brandon Van Der Heide2, Sang-Yeon Kim2, David Westerman3, & Stephanie Tom Tong2

1 Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies & Media, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

2 Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

3 Department of Communication Studies, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506

Abstract:

This research explores how cues deposited by social partners onto one’s online networking profile affect observers’ impressions of the profile owner. An experiment tested the relationships between both (a) what one’s associates say about a person on a social network site via ‘‘wall postings,’’ where friends leave public messages, and (b) the physical attractiveness of one’s associates reflected in the photos that accompany their wall postings on the attractiveness and credibility observers attribute to the target profile owner. Results indicated that profile owners’ friends’ attractiveness affected their own in an assimilative pattern. Favorable or unfavorable statements about the targets interacted with target gender: Negatively valenced messages about certain moral behaviors increased male profile owners’ perceived physical attractiveness, although they caused females to be viewed as less attractive.

To read this article and its associated commentaries, simply click on the PDF links below:

Full article (.pdf): Walther, Van Der Heide, Kim,  Westerman, Tong

Full article (.html)

Commentary: Hogan

Commentary: Rice

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Conference Paper: Political Communication in Media Society

Full title: Political Communication in Media Society

Jurgen Habermas

Philosophy Department, Johann-Wolfgang Goethe Universitat Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany

Abstract:

I first compare the deliberative to the liberal and the republican models of democracy, and consider possible references to empirical research and then examine what empirical evidence there is for the assumption that political deliberation develops a truth-tracking potential. The main parts of the paper serve to dispel prima facie doubts about the empirical content and the applicability of the communication model of deliberative politics. It moreover highlights 2 critical conditions: mediated political communication in the public sphere can facilitate deliberative legitimation processes in complex societies only if a self-regulating media system gains independence from its social environments and if anonymous audiences grant a feedback between an informed elite discourse and a responsive civil society.

To read this article and its associated commentaries, simply click on the PDF links below:

Full article (.pdf): Habermas

Full article (.html)

Commentary: Nerone

Commentary: Hegdhe



Conference Paper: Darth Vader Made Me Do It

Full title: Darth Vader Made Me Do It

Joshua Atkinson1 & Bernadette Calafell2

1 School of Communication Studies, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403

2 Department of Human Communication Studies, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80208

Abstract:

In this essay, we examined the interactions of Anakin Skywalker during moral dilemmas in the Star Wars narrative in order to demonstrate the avoidance of responsibility as a characteristic of hegemonic masculinity. Past research on sexual harassment has demonstrated a ‘‘gray area’’ that shields sexual harassers from responsibility. We explored how such a gray area functions as a characteristic of hegemonic masculinity by shielding one male, Anakin Skywalker, from responsibility for his immoral and often violent actions. Through our investigation, we found three themes integral for the construction of a gray area that helped Anakin avoid responsibility: phantom altruism, a clone-like will, and the guise of the Sith.

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Full article (.pdf): Atkinson & Calafell

Full article (.html)

Commentary: Yannis Tzioumakis



Conference Paper: Consequences of Media and Internet Use
June 22, 2010, 12:00 pm
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Full title: Consequences of Media and Internet Use

Maurice Vergeer 1  Ben Pelzer 2

1 Department of Communication, Radboud University Nijmegen

2 Department of Social Science Research Methods, Radboud University Nijmegen

Abstract:

This study sets out to identify relations between people’s media use, network capital as a resource, and loneliness. Unlike many studies on this topic, this study aimed to test hypotheses on a national sample, and used insights from empirical research and theoretical notions from different research areas. Data collected via telephone interviews in 2005 were analyzed with Structural Equation Modeling. The assumption that traditional and new media destroy social capital is not supported empirically. Moreover, online network capital augments offline network capital and web surfing coincides with more online socializing. However, this additional capital appears not to have benefits in terms of social support and loneliness. The reverse causal relation between loneliness and media use also could not be established.

To read this article and its associated commentaries, simply click on the PDF links below:

Full article (.pdf): Vergeer & Pelzer

Full article (.html)

Commentary: Kreps