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ERIC Number: EJ837272
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 95
ISSN: ISSN-1368-1613
The Mutual Shaping of Online and Offline Social Relationships
Xie, Bo
Information Research: An International Electronic Journal, v13 n3 Paper 350 Sep 2008
Introduction: This study examines the interplay between online and offline social relationships by focusing on an understudied social group: older Chinese Internet users. Method: Thirty-three semi-structured open-ended interviews were conducted with members of a senior-oriented Chinese Internet community in 2004. Analysis: Interview data were recorded, transcribed, translated and coded following the principles of grounded theory. Results: Participants have been using the Internet to overcome geographical barriers and to integrate the virtual world into everyday life. Initial interactions in the online community promote the need for individuals to meet in the physical world with those who have similar interests and backgrounds. Interactions in the physical world in turn help weak tie relationships to develop into stronger ties. Conclusions: The online and offline worlds are mutually constructed and interacting through multiple communication channels is more likely to generate stronger relationships than interacting through a single channel.
Thomas D. Wilson. 9 Broomfield Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, S10 2SE, UK. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China (Shanghai)