Erving Goffman and the Internet
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The dramaturgical framework of sociologist Erving Goffman's is applied to the various forms of computer mediated communication (CMC) on the Internet. The paper examines the implications for situational boundaries, participants? roles, identity play and audience segregation. It argues that audience segregation is a prime factor in determining which CMC applications (such as e-mail, ICQ, IRC or Usenet) are used and when. As the Internet becomes increasingly common in households and is used more for recreational purposes rather than a tool for professional use, the use of anonymous and private services is likely to increase.
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