Mellom flyktige og faste forbindelser : etableringer, vedlikehold og endringer av sosiale relasjoner via Internet Relay Chat
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In this paper I attempt I to explore aspects of the interaction between participants who meet by the means of Internet Relay Chat (IRC). IRC are channels through the Internet, where participants interact synchronously by writing messages to each other. These activities create a social space, with a potential for the development of social relations among participants in different localities in the world. In the context of these situations, this paper attempts to explore different aspects related to the establishment, maintenance and change of social relations between participants who meet through IRC. The paper is based on a fieldwork and participant observation of activities related to social relations among participant through IRC. Though participation on this social arena has a potential for meeting different people and making “new” friends, not all relations are maintained over longer time intervals. When social relations among participant are maintained over time, they also seem to become altered in different ways, in the sense that they are “amplified” and develop a different content than they originally had when they started. Interesting questions can thereby be addressed related to how participation on arenas like IRC possibly have a potential for alteration of what it means for participants to be social and for the classification of social relations between human beings. By participating on arenas like IRC, participants also develop social networks, where specific relations would not have been established and maintained if the participants solely based their interaction on local arenas and networks.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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