[Air-l] Research Request

Doug Schules dschules at mailbox.syr.edu
Mon Jun 16 14:25:50 PDT 2003

Greetings, everyone.

Givent the interdisciplinary nature of this association, I was hoping that a 
few of you out there could offer some suggestions for background research.  
Specifically, I'm completing my master's thesis at Syracuse University in 
Linguistics, and my focus is synchronous communication--essentially IRC and 
MUDs.  I'm examining how credibility and authority are constructed in these 
sessions, paying particular attention to the "formality" of the code used, the 
types and frequency of "emoticons", and the presence (or absence) of emoting.  
The theoretical framework I'm employing is a slight revision of Searle's 
formulation of Speech Act Theory, how the various forces of an utterance 
manifest in this domain.

Problem is, not much literature abounds on this subject.  I've found some 
research on asynchronous communication, and slightly less on synchronous ones.
 So, what I'd like to know is if there is anything that ties SAT and Internet 
communication together.  Barring that, anything related to credibility or 
emoticon use would be helpful (So far, the research I've been working with (1) 
considers gender in the construction of credibility and group dynamics and (2) 
discusses the role of the body in punishment).

If you have any suggestions or ideas, please email me at

dschules at syr.edu

I appreciate your help!

Doug Schules


--Behavior on the Internet sometimes convinces me that Hobbes' state of nature 
truly exists

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