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A practices approach to mediated social relation maintenance behavior

(2016)
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Abstract
Today, media have become integrated in all aspects of social live and mediated communication has become commonplace in everyday social relations. Recent data shows that digital text messaging and voice services are increasingly used alongside more established communication means. From this reality emerges the question how people appropriate this wide variety of media in their everyday interpersonal communication within their existing personal networks. Current research on social relation maintenance behavior predominantly takes an individualistic approach, emphasizing personality traits as antecedents of media use in this context, and typically singles out one medium. In contrast we take a cultural approach in this research, employing the conceptual lens of practices in combination with network analysis to study how people appropriate media in this particular context. Practices have to be situated in the cultural turn in social sciences and can be defined as routinized types of behavior, consisting of arrays of activities, things and their uses. Practices are doubly articulated, meaning that they exist as a shared yet abstract entity and as the performance of the practice by individual actors. The performance of practices involves the actual carrying out of the activities by an individual actor. Taking both articulations into account, an empirical investigation of practices involves its observable activities, how its performers understand the practice, which procedures they follow during its performance and how they actually engage with it. Individual performances of a practice can subsequently be discerned in terms of variations along these dimensions. We investigate this practice of maintaining social relationships by employing a mixed-method approach, combining a diary study, qualitative network analysis and in-depth interviews. Specifically, we compare two generations, adolescents (aged 13-18) and adults (aged 35-45), and the ways in which they appropriate media within the performance of this practice. In total fifty respondents participates in the study, evenly distributed over both generations. As such we will be able to discern between performances of this media related practice, how different media are appropriated within variations of interpersonal relations and ultimately how they may affect these maintenance behaviors. This will allow us to provide complementary insights to the existing literature on mediated relation maintenance. Furthermore, our research shows the relevance and benefit of a relational and sociological approach, as opposed to the individualistic and psychological focus that is currently dominant in this field.   Recent data shows that digital text messaging and voice services are increasingly used alongside more established communication means. From this reality emerges the question how people appropriate this wide variety of media in their everyday interpersonal communication within their existing personal networks. We take a cultural approach in this research, employing the conceptual lens of practices in combination with network analysis to study how people appropriate media in this particular context. We investigate this practice of maintaining social relationships by employing a mixed-method approach, combining a diary study, qualitative network analysis and in-depth interviews. As such we will be able to discern between performances of this media related practice, how different media are appropriated within variations of interpersonal relations and ultimately how they may affect these maintenance behaviors.
Keywords
Media Practices, Media Repertoires, Social Relation Maintenance, Diary Study, Network Analysis

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
De Meulenaere, Jonas, and Frederik De Grove. 2016. “A Practices Approach to Mediated Social Relation Maintenance Behavior.” In .
APA
De Meulenaere, Jonas, & De Grove, F. (2016). A practices approach to mediated social relation maintenance behavior. Presented at the ECREA 2016.
Vancouver
1.
De Meulenaere J, De Grove F. A practices approach to mediated social relation maintenance behavior. 2016.
MLA
De Meulenaere, Jonas, and Frederik De Grove. “A Practices Approach to Mediated Social Relation Maintenance Behavior.” 2016. Print.
@inproceedings{8533946,
  abstract     = {Today, media have become integrated in all aspects of social live and mediated communication has become commonplace in everyday social relations. Recent data shows that digital text messaging and voice services are increasingly used alongside more established communication means. From this reality emerges the question how people appropriate this wide variety of media in their everyday interpersonal communication within their existing personal networks. Current research on social relation maintenance behavior predominantly takes an individualistic approach, emphasizing personality traits as antecedents of media use in this context, and typically singles out one medium. In contrast we take a cultural approach in this research, employing the conceptual lens of practices in combination with network analysis to study how people appropriate media in this particular context. 
Practices have to be situated in the cultural turn in social sciences and can be defined as routinized types of behavior, consisting of arrays of activities, things and their uses. Practices are doubly articulated, meaning that they exist as a shared yet abstract entity and as the performance of the practice by individual actors.  The performance of practices involves the actual carrying out of the activities by an individual actor. Taking both articulations into account, an empirical investigation of practices involves its observable activities, how its performers understand the practice, which procedures they follow during its performance and how they actually engage with it. Individual performances of a practice can subsequently be discerned in terms of variations along these dimensions. 
We investigate this practice of maintaining social relationships by employing a mixed-method approach, combining a diary study, qualitative network analysis and in-depth interviews. Specifically, we compare two generations, adolescents (aged 13-18) and adults (aged 35-45), and the ways in which they appropriate media within the performance of this practice. In total fifty respondents participates in the study, evenly distributed over both generations. 
As such we will be able to discern between performances of this media related practice, how different media are appropriated within variations of interpersonal relations and ultimately how they may affect these maintenance behaviors. This will allow us to provide complementary insights to the existing literature on mediated relation maintenance. Furthermore, our research shows the relevance and benefit of a relational and sociological approach, as opposed to the individualistic and psychological focus that is currently dominant in this field.
\hspace{1em}
Recent data shows that digital text messaging and voice services are increasingly used alongside more established communication means. From this reality emerges the question how people appropriate this wide variety of media in their everyday interpersonal communication within their existing personal networks. We take a cultural approach in this research, employing the conceptual lens of practices in combination with network analysis to study how people appropriate media in this particular context. We investigate this practice of maintaining social relationships by employing a mixed-method approach, combining a diary study, qualitative network analysis and in-depth interviews. As such we will be able to discern between performances of this media related practice, how different media are appropriated within variations of interpersonal relations and ultimately how they may affect these maintenance behaviors. 
},
  author       = {De Meulenaere, Jonas and De Grove, Frederik},
  location     = {Prague, Czech Republic},
  title        = {A practices approach to mediated social relation maintenance behavior},
  year         = {2016},
}