2004 Student Research Conference:
17th Annual Student Research Conference

Business & Accountancy

Social Uses of Seemingly Non-Social Online Products: An Ethnographic Study of Internet Audiences
Akhil Ahuja
Dr. Terrance G. Gabel, Faculty Mentor

Online products have enhanced social interactions between consumers all over. However, the social implications of online products extend beyond the obvious means of social communication via internet, such as chatting, email, discussion boards etc. This empirical research explores the social uses of online products that are mainly perceived as mediums of information dissemination having no associated interactional value. To explore this phenomenon, an ethnographic study of individuals that consisted of mostly college students was conducted. This research is an extension of the award winning work of Ritson and Elliott (1999). Ritson and Elliott conducted an ethnographic study of adolescent informants in United Kingdom and discovered new socially related behaviors arising due to exposure to advertising. Extending their work to the dimension of seemingly non-social online products, this research hopes to dispel the stereotypical view of the online product user as a solitary individual engaging in non-social consumption behavior.

Keywords: online, social, interactions, ritson, elliott, ethnographic, consumption, behavior

Topic(s):Business Administration

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 39-2
Location: OP 2113
Time: 4:00

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