Title: Power structures in dialogues on the net: with group composition considered

Authors: Annette Johnsson

Addresses: Skolinspektionen, Gasverksgatan 1, 222 29 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The aim of this study, which involved 147 teacher training students in 29 groups, was to investigate whether patterns of dominance/subordination in net-based student dialogues could be correlated to some of the background characteristics (gender, linguistic background, age and parental educational attainments) of the students. The research focus included an interest in the significance of group composition. The presence of more males in a group seemed to influence women's contributions negatively; the higher the proportion of males in the group - the fewer were the total postings and words by the female students. The discussion style was also affected; more agreements and supportive remarks were made in groups that had a higher proportion of males.

Keywords: group work; power structures; teacher training; online learning communities; computer-based learning; CBL; net-based learning; group composition; socio-economic; age; gender; ethnicity; linguistic background; educational background; symbolic capital; online communities; web based communities; virtual communities; dominance; subordination; web based dialogues; discussion styles.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2012.049560

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2012 Vol.8 No.4, pp.455 - 470

Published online: 20 Aug 2014 *

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