[Air-l] origin/meaning of CMC
wellman at chass.utoronto.ca
Wed Feb 6 18:11:07 PST 2002
Joao Vieira da Cunha enquired Feb 5 about the term "computer mediated
My guess is that there are multiple origins of the term.
I coined the term in the mid 1970s in EIES computerized conferencing
[that's a term that didn't stick] that led, among other things, to Roxanne
Hiltz's and Murray Turoff's first ed. of The Network Nation. Peter &
Trudy Johnson-Lenz were active discussants too, I recall.
We played with a lot of terms but liked mediated because the computer
network intermediary did more than just Assist or Support Communication
(we considered CAC and CSC also), but had a mediating role in affecting
how communication took place. On the other hand, whatever Marshall
thought, the medium is not the dominating message, and technological
determinism has rarely been shown to be operating.
Hence I've come to like Erin Bradner's "social affordances" discussion of
the impact of CMC. Opportunities and constraints, but not determinants
Barry Wellman Professor of Sociology NetLab Director
wellman at chass.utoronto.ca http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~wellman
Centre for Urban & Community Studies University of Toronto
455 Spadina Avenue Toronto Canada M5S 2G8 fax:+1-416-978-7162
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