Identity Presentation: The Construction of Identity in Asynchronous Discussion


  • Brian Morgan State University of New York



literacy instruction, e-mail discussion, social practice, conversation analysis, computer mediated discourse


This study examines the use of e-mail as a tool for long term discussion between teachers and grade six students. E-mail messages between grade six students and teachers were collected over the course of one academic year. Methods of conversation analysis within a framework of social practice are used to examine the data. While identity is more readily constructed and more fully developed in contexts which allow for physical embodiment such as face-to-face discussion, this analysis found that identity can be constructed in a context that does not provide for the physical embodiment of identity: Identity was constructed using the social, cultural, and technological tools provided and supported by e-mail to develop social practices germane to the e-mail discussion. This study has implications for further understanding the relation between identity, goals, constraints and affordances, and the collaborative creation of social practices in asynchronous computer mediated communication. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0803185


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Author Biography

Brian Morgan, State University of New York

Brian MORGAN is an Assistant Professor of Literacy in the Ella Cline Shear School of Education at the State University of New York at Geneseo in the United States. His research interests concentrate around new literacies, literacy and power, pedagogy, alternative education, and identity. He is currently working on several projects combining the above.




How to Cite

Morgan, B. (2008). Identity Presentation: The Construction of Identity in Asynchronous Discussion. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(3).



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