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Actions That Embody Virtual Space

Bomersbach, Marla (2009) Actions That Embody Virtual Space. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Many participants in computer-mediated discourse use textually described actions as tools for interaction and the creation and display of identities. In particular, members of online fan communities use textually described actions to embody virtual space in order to construct a shared identity of mutual intimacy. In this study I demonstrate the typical structure of textually described actions, using discourse data collected from three fan communities and responses to an anonymous survey. I then show how these fans use textually described actions to embody virtual space as mimicking the physical world but lacking key barriers and restraints to interaction, such as real-world distance, online communication lag time, and possibility or visibility of the action in the physical world. Using one portion of the discourse data, I illustrate how these fans, who share a high-involvement style of interaction (Tannen, 1984), utilize textually described actions to index emotional stances. These stances and the embodied virtual space are combined to construct a shared identity of a close community in which members interact with great emotional and (virtual) physical intimacy.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bomersbach, Marlamnb9@pitt.eduMNB9
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKiesling, Scott Fkiesling@pitt.eduKIESLING
Committee MemberMauk, Claude Ecemauk@pitt.eduCEMAUK
Committee MemberMcEwan-Fujita, Emilyemcewan@pitt.eduEMCEWAN
Date: 4 June 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 14 April 2009
Approval Date: 4 June 2009
Submission Date: 13 April 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: community of practice; computer-mediated communication; discourse analysis; narrative
Other ID:, etd-04132009-204701
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:37
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:40


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