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Virtual Rituals: Applying Goffmans Face-Work to an Analysis of Live Chat Reference Encounters Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, & Jocelyn A. DeAngelis.

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Presentation on theme: "Virtual Rituals: Applying Goffmans Face-Work to an Analysis of Live Chat Reference Encounters Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, & Jocelyn A. DeAngelis."— Presentation transcript:

1 Virtual Rituals: Applying Goffmans Face-Work to an Analysis of Live Chat Reference Encounters Marie L. Radford, Lynn Silipigni Connaway, & Jocelyn A. DeAngelis Williams LRS IV London, Ontario, Canada October 10-12, 2007

2 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives $1,103,572 project funded by: Institute of Museum & Library Services (IMLS) –$684,996 grant Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey & OCLC, Online Computer Library Center Inc. –$405,076 in kind contributions

3 Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives Project duration: 2 1/2 Years (10/05-3/08) Four phases: I.Focus group interviews II.Analysis of 1,000+ QuestionPoint live chat transcripts III.600 online surveys IV.300 telephone interviews

4 Phase II: Transcript Analysis Random sample –7/04 to 11/06 (18 months) –479,673 QuestionPoint sessions total –Avg. 33/mo. = 850 total, 850 examined 746 usable transcripts –Excluding system tests & tech problems

5 Face-Work Much of the activity occurring during an encounter can be understood as an effort on everyones part to get through the occasion and all the unanticipated and unintentional events that can cast participants in an undesirable light, without disrupting the relationships of the participants (Goffman, 1967, p. 41)

6 Face Defined Positive social value person claims Self-image in terms of approved social attributes

7 Face-Work in Encounters Face is located in flow of events –Feelings about face reinforced by encounters –If better face is established – feel good –If expectations not fulfilled – feel bad or hurt –Neutral experience – expected, not memorable

8 Kinds of Face-Work Rituals – Greetings & Closings Corrective Process – Repair & Apology Avoidance Process– Prevent Threats to Face Poise – Control Embarrassment

9 Face-Work in Chat Reference Goffman provides a powerful way to frame analysis of chat encounters. Face & face-work appear in flow of transcript (event). Analysis identifies instances of face- work. Major categories – see handout.

10 Interpersonal Communication Findings Relational Facilitators –Interpersonal aspects of the chat conversation that have a positive impact on the librarian-client interaction and that enhance communication. Relational Barriers –Interpersonal aspects of the chat conversation that have a negative impact on the librarian-client interaction and that impede communication.

11 Transcript Examples Positive Face-Work – Relational Facilitators Size of an Atom Question Type: Subject Search Subject Type: Life Sciences; Biology (DDC: 570) Duration: 39.75 min. Negative Face-Work – Relational Barriers Mesopotamian Government Question Type: Subject Search Subject Type: History of the Ancient World (DDC: 930) Duration: 27 min.

12 Face-Work Facilitators – Similarities CategoryLibrariansUsers Greeting Rituals197167 Apology5956 Seeking Reassurance448424 Offering Reassurance137119 (n=746 Transcripts)

13 Facilitators – Differences Librarians vs. Users Librarian Lower Numbers/Occurrence CategoryLibrariansUsers Alternate spelling/ abbreviation single words 76263 Lower case29282 Self disclosure38583 Thanks103882 Praise/admiration149 Expressions of enthusiasm2060 Punctuation for emphasis87207 (n=746 Transcripts)

14 Facilitators – Differences Librarians vs. Users Librarian Higher Numbers/Occurrence CategoryLibrariansUsers Inclusion137119 Encouraging Remarks/Praise8339 Offering Personal Opinion25433 Polite Expressions371230 Suggesting Strategy in Tentative way 5926 Ellipsis277207 (n=746 Transcripts)

15 Barriers – Differences Librarians Vs. Users User Higher Numbers/Average CategoryLibrariansUsers Disconfirming 1674 Abrupt Endings44243 Impatience345 Rude or Insulting022 Goofing Around224 Inappropriate Language017 (n=746 Transcripts)

16 Barriers – Differences Librarians Vs. Users Higher Numbers/Average CategoryLibrariansUsers Limits Time130 Ignores Self Disclosure100 Inappropriate Script or Response124 Failing to Offer Reassurance266 Disclaimer270 Ignoring cues User wants more help160 Premature or Attempted Closing174 Failure to Refer100 (n=746 Transcripts)

17 Future Directions Continue to collect & analyze data –Online surveys 200 Librarian surveys completed 200 Non-user surveys completed 200 User surveys in progress –Telephone interviews 100 Librarians completed 100 Users in progress 100 Non-users in progress

18 End Notes This is one of the outcomes from the project Seeking Synchronicity: Evaluating Virtual Reference Services from User, Non-User, and Librarian Perspectives Funded by IMLS, Rutgers University, & OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Special thanks to Patrick Confer, Julie Strange, & Janet Torsney. Slides available at project web site: http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/synchronicity/ http://www.oclc.org/research/projects/synchronicity/

19 Questions Marie L. Radford, Ph.D. –Email: mradford@scils.rutgers.edumradford@scils.rutgers.edu –www.scils.rutgers.edu/~mradfordwww.scils.rutgers.edu/~mradford Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D. –Email: connawal@oclc.org –www.oclc.org/research/staff/connaway.htmwww.oclc.org/research/staff/connaway.htm Jocelyn A. DeAngelis Williams –Email: jocelyn.scils@rutgers.edu


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