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Offline social identity and online chat partner selection

Helsper, Ellen (2014) Offline social identity and online chat partner selection. Information, Communication and Society, 17 (6). pp. 695-715. ISSN 1468-4462

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This study examines whether the impact of offline identities on computer-mediated communication is stable across different social contexts or whether it depends on which identity aspect is salient. Field experiments with 206 teenagers tested the influence of gendered, ethnic, youth and personalized identities on teenagers' chat behaviour and cognitions. The findings show that offline identity varies in its relation to Internet self-efficacy but not chat partner selection. Self-efficacy differed significantly between boys and girls when youth and gender identities were emphasized but not when stressing personal identity. Across conditions, teenagers were most likely to choose chat partners from similar ethnic and opposite sex backgrounds. This partly supports the Social Identification and Deindividuation framework and argues that offline identities impact online behaviour and self-perception but that this effect depends on which identity aspect is activated.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Sets: Departments > Media and Communications
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2013 07:20

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