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Disembodiment is a cyberspace myth: discourse and the self in real space.

Stanley, Steven 2004. Disembodiment is a cyberspace myth: discourse and the self in real space. Cyberpsychology and Behavior 4 (1) , pp. 77-93. 10.1089/10949310151088433

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Much social science writing about the Internet is disembodied. This paper will try show how this is rhetorically practiced by the cyberfeminist author Sadie Plant. From the work of Fred Newman, Michael Billig, and also from discourse work, comes the idea that it is not views that should be studied per se, but rather, the giving of views. To understand people, one needs to understand them when they are in dialogue with one another. Not to test them in isolation, but to study their interrelatedness as they perform social life. A social space was constructed through which embodiment could be revealed. This reality is "real space," the space that is on the other side of the screen, so to speak. To understand the psychology of the Internet is to enter into dialogue with people, and real space constitutes the embodied practice of social talk, specifically in the context of the interview. Two semistructured interviews were carried out with a student from the Ukraine. These interviews were transcribed closely. Just as real space constitutes interviews, cyberspace constitutes E-mailing. An international student born in New Zealand was questioned through E-mail. A discourse analysis was performed on selected extracts. The sequences were typified by diversity and multiplicity of theme, which included the drawing upon of embodied resources. The experience of being internationals in a U.K. academic institution were perpetually being negotiated, concomitantly to the giving of views about the Internet. The problematic issues of writing about social life are practically addressed in the discussion. I explore the realities created by real space and cyberspace by deconstructing them. Discourse work allowed for a critical self-reflection concerning the meanings that were given to the performance of the Internet.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
ISSN: 1094-9313
Date of Acceptance: 14 February 2001
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2019 14:50

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