Crafting Supportive Communication Online: A Communication Design Analysis of Conflict in an Online Support Group

Mark Aakhus, Esther Rumsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the constitution and maintenance of supportive communication at a distance by analyzing an episode of conflict in an online cancer support community. Reconstruction of the flaming and hostile communication at the conflict's surface revealed a deeper struggle among community members about how interaction generates supportive communication. Findings indicate that, unlike conventionally understood sources of online conflict, the conflict in this context develops over (a) the right to criticize, (b) the role of venting, and (c) the value of disagreement in communicating support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-84
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

Keywords

  • Communication Design
  • Flaming
  • Hostile Communication
  • Online Support Groups
  • Supportive Communication

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