[Air-L] Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award 2014

Mark D. Johns mjohns at luther.edu
Mon Apr 28 11:30:35 PDT 2014


Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award 2014

Sponsored by the Carl Couch Center for Social and Internet Research

The Carl Couch Center issues an international call for student-authored
papers to be considered for Carl J. Couch Internet Research Award. The
Couch Center welcomes both theoretical and empirical papers that apply
symbolic interactionist approaches to internet studies.

According to basic symbolic interactionist premises, what we understand as
self, identity, relationship, and cultural formations are constructed
dialogically and interactively.  While the works of George H. Mead, Georg
Simmel, Erving Goffman and other leading symbolic interactionists have been
integral to the study of social interaction, Carl Couch was among the first
from this tradition to suggest the importance of engaging in the study of
mediated interaction. It is critical that symbolic interactionists move
boldly forward, beyond Couch's initial suggestion, to study what has become
for many a dominant form of communication in their everyday life.

Whether we research identities, emotion, memory, family, work, career,
presentations of self, deception, love, loss or other areas, the impact of
mediated communication is felt by those interacting within it.  As
internet-related media continue to influence our everyday interactions--not
only with other people but also with technologies, devices, algorithms,
platform parameters, and so forth--it becomes crucial for symbolic
interactionists to attend to the role of these mediating factors in the
interaction process.

We encourage any paper that uses a symbolic interactionist approach in
internet studies. We also encourage papers that explore the interface
between deliberate social interaction and structured (or automated)
interactions sponsored or enacted by various technological features,
exploring not only how identities, relations, and social formations are
negotiated through social interactions, but also how these interactions are
mediated further through the use or capacities of various technologies.

Papers will be evaluated based on the quality of (1) mastery of symbolic
interactionist approaches and concepts, (2) originality, (3) organization,
(4) presentation, and (5) advancement of knowledge. Those contemplating
entering should note that an interactionist approach demands thoughtful
analysis, and not mere description, of social interactions. Evaluation will
be administered by a Review Committee of four:

Mark D. Johns, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Jennifer Dunn, Texas Tech University, Lubbock
Annette Markham, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Camille Johnson-Yale, Lake Forest College, Illinois

Competition is open to graduate or undergraduate students of all
disciplines. Works that are published or accepted for publication are not
eligible for award consideration. Entries should be in English and not
exceed 30 pages (approximately 7500 words) in length, including references
and appendices. Limit of one entry per student per year.

The top paper will receive Couch Award to be presented at the 2014 meeting
of the Association of Internet Researchers (aoir.org) in Bangkok, Thailand.
The top paper will be awarded a certificate and a cash prize of $300 US and
the author will be invited to present their work at a session of the AoIR
conference, October 22-25, 2014 in Bangkok.

Candidates should send a copy of their paper, with a 100-word abstract,
electronically to Mark Johns at mjohns at luther.edu Application deadline is
May 15, 2014. Notification of award will be sent by June 15.

Those with questions or comments about Couch Award application, please

Mark D. Johns
Communication Studies
Luther College, Decorah, Iowa
Phone: 563-387-1347
E-mail: mjohns at luther.edu

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