Dissertation Topic – 01.09

While much of this may sound familiar, I am really fine-tuning the topic and have here added the beginnings of a (the?) research question. I welcome any feedback/questions, at this point.
Considering that from the time and situation in which we communicated solely through oral means, we have been advancing the methods and technology through which we communicate, often making communication more immediate, direct, archivable, and personal, and given all that is known and established about the qualities of primary orality, what communication examples, if any, reproduce, simulate, or apply those elements? Have we created the most effective means of communication through the merging of primary orality, text, electronic orality, and any more advanced tools?

It is my contention that despite the ample advancements we’ve made in communication methods and tools, each offering unique or enhanced benefits to preceding media, we had yet to create the most effective communication method that reproduces the beneficial qualities of primary orality while applying the recordable, recallable benefits of more recent technology, until the advent of the online video conversation. This rhetorical situation serves as the prime example of digital orality, a stage that includes, yet transcends that of electronic orality, established by Walter J. Ong, by incorporating aural, visual, and textual elements in a communicative situation that simulates the human and synchronous factors existent in primary orality, while retaining the asynchronous benefit of recollection, backlooping, and portability.

My intended data collection will include some quantitative aspect, such as providing information on the extent to which participants in online video conversations see it is replicating the conditions of a live conversation and how they place this communication method in ratio to other current forms. However, the collected date will largely be viewed qualitatively, applying a holistic, intrinsic case study model methodology to critically examine the genre of the online video conversation. Using an empirical-explanatory inquiry method, this study will attempt to discover through observation and online interviews and surveys what occurs in the online video conversation, detail those occurrences, and explain them in a frame of existing communication theory.

2 Responses to “Dissertation Topic – 01.09”

  1. Comment From Konstanze on February 8th, 2009 at 9:10 am

    You may want to take a look at Michael Polanyi’s work on tacit knowledge of oral communication on all levels – phonological to sensitivity to rhetorical or interpersonal context. Seems like that could flow into the theoretical underpinnings of the video conversation.

  2. Comment From thbarrow on February 8th, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks for the lead. I will definitely look into Polanyi’s work.

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