Computer mediated communication: Identity and social interaction in an electronic environment

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62 Citations (Scopus)


Social Sciences are increasingly interested in understanding the characteristics of Computer Mediated Communication and its effects on people, groups and organisations. The first effect of this influence is the revolution in the metaphors used to describe communication. After describing these changes, the paper outlines a framework for the study of computer-mediated communication and considers the three psychosocial roots of the process by which interaction between users is constructed – networked reality, virtual conversation and identity construction. The paper also considers the implications of these changes for current research in communication studies, with particular reference to the role of context, the link between cognition and interaction, and the use of interlocutory models as paradigms of communicative interaction: communication is not only – or not so much – a transfer of information, but also the activation of a psychosocial relationship, the process by which interlocutors co-construct an area of reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)434-464
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • communication
  • identity
  • virtual environment

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