Researching Electronic Networks

Janet Carey Eldred, Gail E. Hawisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Composition studies, as a field, has always depended on theoretical constructs and empirical methods from other disciplines. This article looks at interdisciplinary work in the area of composition and computer-mediated communication (CMC). The work on writing and electronic networks has drawn from early experimental studies of CMC in social psychology, the premises of which are at odds with current thinking in both composition studies and social psychology. In recent years, social psychological research on CMC has witnessed changes similar to those in composition: a rethinking of positivistic frameworks and a move to emphasize social constructs. This article reviews the work of four groups conducting social psychological research on CMC. It traces the movement away from theoretical frameworks based in positivism toward those grounded in social constructionism. It concludes by advocating a dialogic relationship between research in computers and composition studies and social psychology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-359
Number of pages30
JournalWritten Communication
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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