ERIC Number: ED352903
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Nov-1
Reference Count: N/A
Virtual Community and Invisible Colleges: Alterations in Faculty Scholarly Networks and Professional Self-Image. ASHE Annual Meeting Paper.
Lincoln, Yvonna S.
This descriptive study examines how the proliferation of electronic hook-ups to remote locations, to databases, and particularly to electronic mail (e-mail), is changing the work, communication patterns and self-image of higher education faculty. In particular the study examined whether technological acquisition had an impact on professors' perceptions of their "invisible colleges", and whether or not there were systematic differences between men and women in their constructions of these changes in their worklife. Explored are "invisible colleges," scientific communities whose members do not live and work in close proximity; human-machine interaction; and literature on gender differences in computer skill acquisition processes and psychological approaches to exploration of computer logic. In-depth open-ended interviews were conducted with six new electronic mail users. Additional data were derived from one network's ongoing conversations regarding the nature of "community." Results indicated that users conversing regularly on networks were forming "communities" with self-conscious discussion of "courtesy" and fair intellectual exchange; that e-mail has made communication between scholars more democratic and broader particularly for women; that style of conversation is informal and humorous; and that mastering the technology had different effects on men's and women's self-image. (Contains 23 references.) (JB)
Descriptors: College Faculty, Communication Research, Communication (Thought Transfer), Communications, Community Characteristics, Computer Literacy, Computer Networks, Electronic Mail, Higher Education, Information Networks, Interviews, Online Systems, Reference Services, Self Concept, Sex Differences, Teacher Attitudes, Teleconferencing
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A