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On virtual face-work: An ethnography of communication approach to a live chat reference interaction

3 Oct 2011
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This article reports on a project using an ethnography of communication approach and Erving Goffman's face-work concept to analyze a librarian user interaction.

This approach has the potential to greatly increase the understanding of interpersonal dynamics in computer-mediated communication realms.
 
Erving Goffman’s theoretical framework and concept of face-work has the potential to greatly increase the understanding of interpersonal dynamics in computer-mediated communication realms. This research used an ethnography of communication approach and the concept of face-work to analyze the transcript of an interaction between a librarian and a library user in a Web-based virtual referenceservice environment. This highly goal-oriented interaction, even though it lacks the immediacy of face-to-face interaction, was found to be a rich source of face-work.
 
Authors: Marie L. Radford, Gary P. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, & Jocelyn A. DeAngelis

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2011
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