Phenomenology and Sociology

November 15th, 2010

Vaitkus, S. (2000). Phenomenology and Sociology. In Bryan S. Turner (Ed.). The Blackwell Companion to Social Theory. Second ed. Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers.

In this chapter from the larger text on social theory, Vaitkus discusses phenomenology in general and specifically, the sociological approach. He details phenomenology as originating with Edmund Husserl and explains the difficulty in clearly defining it, since it is seen by different scholars as different things from a philosophy, a paradigm, a school, and even “a general orientation or style of methodological thinking in systematically analyzing the world” (270). Other key scholars of phenomenology include Merleau-Ponty (see Phenomenology of Perception), Sartre, and Heidegger. Read the rest of this entry »

Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design

November 14th, 2010

Creswell, John W. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design : Choosing among Five Traditions. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1998.

For my dissertation study, I chose to use a qualitative method (or series of methods), due to its multi-method focus, interpretive approach, and purpose. Qualitative studies analyze and interpret observations to discover meanings and patterns of relationships including social/human, classification, and other. Conversely, quantitative methods are aimed more toward using mathematical models, such as statistics, to gather measurable information. Creswell defines qualitative research as, “an inquiry process of understanding based on distinct methodological traditions of inquiry that explore a social or human problem” (15). In this way, it is logical to apply a qualitative perspective since my study is largely about social interaction, distance communication, and the way that participants perceive the experience of communicating through asynchronous video means. Read the rest of this entry »

Methodology 2

November 13th, 2010

Here is the methodology from my final pre-proposal submitted in May 2010. I am posting it now, since the blog posts over the next three weeks will all be on my dissertation methods.

The nature of this study–examining an online communication method–is one of social acts. Using a social phenomenological inquiry to examine this subject as an intrinsic case study model, this study will critically examine and apply an embedded analysis on the use of the OVC in the AOC to determine the participant-perceived social presence level, the characteristics that lead to that perception, how participants interact through this method, and the features that allow or invoke that interaction. “A phenomenological study describes the meaning of the lived experiences for several individuals about a concept or the phenomenon” (Creswell, 1998). In this type of study, researchers search for the essence of the phenomenon and the meaning of the experience for participants. Read the rest of this entry »

Media Naturalness Theory 2

November 11th, 2010

Kock, Ned. “The Ape That Used Email: Understanding E-Communication Behavior through Evolution Theory.” Communications of AIS 5 3 (2001): 29.

In September 2009, I published posts on media richness theory and media synchronicity theory. (Be sure to check out this week’s posts continuing the discussion on each of those, as well.) Additionally, I discussed media naturalness theory . While that post provides a decent overview of the theory, including why he finds media richness and media synchronicity insufficient, I want to expound more on this article/theory.

A motivating factor behind Kock’s development of media naturalness theory is his observation that the existing theories that try to explain “e-communication” fall under either technological theory or under social theory. Read the rest of this entry »

Media Synchronicity Theory 2

November 9th, 2010

Dennis, A. R., et al. “Beyond Media Richness: An Empirical Test of Media Synchronicity Theory.” Proceedings of the Thirty-First Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Vol I (1998): 48-57.

I first introduced and discussed media synchronicity theory in a September 2009 post, . While that provides a decent overview of the theory, including why they find media richness theory insufficient and thus developed their own theory, I want add some detail of this article/theory.

Dennis and Valacich define media synchronicity as “… the extent to which a communication environment encourages individuals to work together on the same activity, with the same information, at the same time; i.e. to have a shared focus” (48). The authors, acknowledge the value of media richness theory–that a medium’s ability to support various communication modes and process that naturally occur in a FtF communication setting– is important, yet find the theory incomplete, since there are other important media dimensions to consider. Now, with the existence of some electronic media that were not available at the time of Daft and Lengel’s media richness article, there are new ways to communicate, such as with online video, which may provide more effective support for certain communication modes than addressed in media richness theory. Read the rest of this entry »