[Air-l] Call for Papers - Culture and Computer-Mediated Communication

Charles Ess cmess at drury.edu
Mon Aug 2 04:11:31 PDT 2004

Dear AoIR'ists,

Below please find a CFP for a special issue of the Journal of
Computer-Mediated Communication.  Please distribute to colleagues and lists
as appropriate.

See you in Suffolk!

Charles Ess
Distinguished Research Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies
Drury University
900 N. Benton Ave.                          Voice: 417-873-7230
Springfield, MO  65802  USA            FAX: 417-873-7435

Home page:  http://www.drury.edu/ess/ess.html
Co-chair, CATaC: http://www.it.murdoch.edu.au/catac/

Exemplary persons seek harmony, not sameness. -- Analects 13.23

Call for Papers, special issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated
Guest editors:
Charles Ess (cmess at drury.edu)
Interdisciplinary Studies Center, Drury University
Fay Sudweeks (sudweeks at murdoch.edu.au)
School of Information Technology, Murdoch University.
Proposals due: October 1, 2004
Full papers due: April 15, 2004
Anticipated publication: January 2006
Gert Hofstede¹s oft-cited dimensions of culture, along with Edward T. Hall¹s
frameworks for understanding culture and communication (including his
distinctions between ³high content/low context² and ³high context/low
content² cultures, and between polychronic and monochronic perceptions of
time) have emerged as methodological starting points for a considerable
range of empirical research into how far extant CMC technologies succeed or
fail in fostering cross-cultural communication online.
At the same time, these frameworks can be challenged in a variety of ways.
First of all, such frameworks inherit the risks and difficulties surrounding
the notion of ³culture² in general. Too often, our efforts to define
cultural characteristics assume a static and largely hermetically-sealed
notion of culture ­ one that is, in many instances, operationally assumed to
coincide with membership in a given nation-state or group defined by a
specific geographical boundary. Moreover, the efforts of cultural theorists
such as Hofstede and Hall to analyze and define culture lead to
generalizations that run the risk of falling into overly simple stereotypes
and binary oppositions. By contrast, more careful reflection on ³culture²
should reveal that whatever else we mean by the term, cultures are fluid,
not static; members of different cultures constantly intermix, hybridize,
and develop their own distinctive collocations of diverse cultural elements.
Moreover, given the complexity of human beings and their identification with
multiple cultures and subcultures, it is by no means clear how far such
characterizations as ³high content/low context² and ³high context/low
content² are adequate explanations of human behavior.
For this special issue of the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, we
invite submissions that explore (a) the utility and limits of Hall¹s and
Hofstede¹s and related frameworks for CMC research, and/or (b) alternative
frameworks for researching culture that explicitly seek to move beyond
previously identified weaknesses and limits in Hall and Hofstede, et al.,
and that result in fruitful and insightful findings as regards CMC.
Potential authors should submit a preliminary proposal of 500 words by
October 1, 2004, to the issue editors Charles Ess (cmess at drury.edu) and Fay
Sudweeks (sudweeks at murdoch.edu.au).
The proposal should indicate (a) the theoretical bases and/or earlier
research results to be used in analyzing, critiquing, and moving beyond
Hall¹s and related  frameworks of cultural analysis, and/or (b) alternative
frameworks of cultural analysis, to be used for specific empirical research
whose goal is to test the fruitfulness and/or limits of these frameworks, as
applied to one or more types of CMC (e.g., the Internet, the Web, and/or
mobile communication). In addition, proposals should clearly indicate the
data to be analyzed, the methods used, the actual or anticipated findings of
the empirical analysis, and the implications of these findings ­ including
how the findings may confirm and/or point to limitations of the cultural
framework(s) used in the analysis.
Proposals should demonstrate awareness of key references in the culture and
communication debates . For potentially useful sources, prospective authors
may want to review one or more publications related to the conferences on
Cultural Attitudes Towards Technology and Communication [CATaC], for
example, Macfadyen et al. (2004); see also the CATaC website at
Since JCMC is an interdisciplinary journal, authors should plan for papers
that will be accessible to non-specialists, and should make their papers
relevant to an interdisciplinary audience. In addition, judicious use of the
multimedia possibilities of web publication are encouraged, e.g., screen
shots, photos, etc.
Earlier submissions and questions are welcome.
Authors whose proposals are accepted for inclusion will be invited to submit
a full paper of roughly 7,000-10,000 words by April 15, 2005.
Anticipated publication date for the issue is January 2006.
Proposals and final submissions should be e-mailed to the special issue
editors Charles Ess (cmess at drury.edu) and Fay Sudweeks
(sudweeks at murdoch.edu.au).
Macfadyen, L. P., Roche, J., and Doff, S. (2004). Communicating across
Cultures in Cyberspace: A Bibliographical Review of Online Intercultural
Communication. Hamburg: Lit-Verlag.

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