ERIC Number: ED414744
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Gender Issues on the Information Highway: An Analysis of Communication Styles in Electronic Discussion Groups.
A study investigated gender differences in language use in electronic mail discussion groups. A review of research on discourse analysis identifies areas in which gender differences are found in interpersonal interaction and language use in general, and how these reflect differences in socialization. Research on electronic discussion groups suggests this is a fruitful area for testing assumptions about gender differences because there is no direct discourse interference and gender of interlocutors is irrelevant to the topic or interaction. Data were drawn from 82 electronic-mail (e-mail) messages randomly collected from varied e-mail groups, and analyzed for language indicators representing "female" and "male" styles and for functional gender-related markers of on-line style. Gender of the e-mail senders was known, and reflects accurately the proportion of male and female participants in electronic discussion groups. Findings concerning language patterns are summarized. It is concluded that there are gender differences in e-mail message style, with males tending toward a more aggressive, competitive style and women tending toward a more supportive approach. Message excerpts and data summaries are appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A