SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration
Equal Participation of Unequal Groups via Internet: Interaction Pattern of Social Workers and Care Leavers
Abstract: This study examines the communication pattern between
social workers and care leavers in a virtual setting. These groups are
socially excluded and psychologically distant from each other. The role of
the media in generating stereotypes that mitigate communication is
examined. Internet is chosen as the medium of communication in this study
to observe effects of lean medium of communication on interaction patterns
of socially excluded groups. This study reveals to what extent
participation can be achieved between two groups of unequal power in UK,
(social workers and the people they provide these services to, i.e.,
service users), when interacting in a virtual setting. Findings show that
Internet provides greater freedom of speech to socially excluded groups but
power differentials observed in real-life setting remain unaltered.
Potential of Negotiation strategies for overcoming barriers to
communication and initiating processes for social change are discussed.
Keywords: Power; Inter-group Communication; social exclusion; Internet; Negotiations; (follow links to similar papers)
24 pages, February 4, 2009
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