On Virtual Face-work: An Ethnography of Communication Approach to a Live Chat Reference Interaction
by: Marie L. Radford, Gary P. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, and Jocelyn A. DeAngelis
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 reference service 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.
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Radford, Marie L., Gary P. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, and Jocelyn A. DeAngelis. 2011. "On Virtual Face-work: An Ethnography of Communication Approach to a Live Chat Reference Interaction." The Library Quarterly 81,4 (October): 431-453. http://www.oclc.org/research/publications/library/2011/201109-lq.pdf (.pdf: 95K/23 pp.). (Selected for inclusion in the ALA Reference Research Review: 2011.)