Building a sense of online rural community: Exploring the complex interactions between technological characteristics and social influences

Previte, Josephine A., Pini, Barbara M., & Hearn, Gregory N. (2003) Building a sense of online rural community: Exploring the complex interactions between technological characteristics and social influences. In Designing Communication for Diversity: Australia and New Zealand Communication Association (ANZCA03), 9-11 July 2003, Brisbane, Australia.


This paper reports preliminary findings from a larger ethnographic study of two discussion lists which have been formed as part of the rural women’s groups, Australian Women in Agriculture and the Queensland Rural Women’s Network. The central purpose is to use Baym’s (1998) computer mediated communication (CMC) framework to examine how a sense of community is constructed in these online groups. Data from four months of messages are examined in terms of the five dimensions which Baym (1998) argues shapes virtual communication in discussion lists. These are the external contexts in which the use of CMC is set, the temporal structure of the group, the infrastructure of the computer system, the purposes for which CMC is used, and the characteristics of the group and its members. The way in which these pre-existing factors influence emergent forms of expression, identity, relationships and behavioural norms in the lists is also explored.

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ID Code: 196
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Online communities, Rural, Rural women's network, Communication, Computer mediated communication
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified (200199)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2003 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 04 Jun 2004 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 12:59

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