Virtual Political Office Where Gender and Culture Meet

Virtual Political Office Where Gender and Culture Meet

Olena Igorivna Goroshko (National Technical University “Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute”, Ukraine)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-893-2.ch047
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Abstract

Based on the underlying assumption that gender is a social construct, this chapter explores the World Wide Web home pages of key political figures in the USA and Ukraine focusing specifically on what the content posted to these sites and their structure suggests about gender and cultural peculiarities in constructing political identity on the Web. The personal page is rendered as a virtual political office—a peculiar meeting point between the site owner and its potential audience, electorate, and citizenry providing an excellent working place to be constantly in touch with the electoral body from anyplace and in anytime. All data are analyzed according to four parameters: male, female, Ukrainian, and American. The main result highlights the intersection across culture, gender, and computer-mediated communication (CMC) influencing the virtual identity formation. The intersectional approach towards viewing gendered virtual identity is proposed. The data obtained lead to suggestions for the creation of sites that are more in line with the potential provided by the Net to facilitate political communication.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Culture: This refers to the set of attitudes, values, beliefs, and behaviors that are shared by a group or people but that differ for every individual and that are communicated from one generation to another. Culture, like gender, affects virtually every aspects of life. A culture consists of structures and practices that uphold a particular social order by legitimizing certain values, expectations, meanings, and patterns of behavior. To explore this supposition, it is helpful to consider how culture creates and sustains more basic values, democracy, and then how culture upholds the gender practices ( Wood, 2003 , p.28).

Intersectionality: This is a new approach in gender studies based on the supposition that gender lies on the crossroads of many social factors: power, class, race, nation, and so forth. It presents a conventional product stipulated greatly by these factors. Intersectionality is considered as a paradigmatic approach, especially applied to activism and social activities. It argues that the classical models of oppression within a society, such as those based on race/ethnicity, gender, religion, sexuality, class, disability, and other markers of difference do not act independently of one another. Instead, these forms of oppression interrelate, based on which markers apply to a given individual (and intersectionality derives its name from this intersection of forms of oppression). Intersectionality thus holds that knowing, for example, that a woman lives in a sexist society is insufficient information to describe her experience; instead, it is also necessary to know her race, her sexual orientation, her class, and so forth.

Virtual Workplace: This is a workplace that is not located in any one physical space. Rather, several workplaces are technologically connected (via the net) without regard to geographic boundaries. Employees are thus able to interact and work with one another in a collaborated environment regardless of where they are in the world. A virtual workplace decreases unnecessary costs by integrating technology processes, people processes, and online processes. In this chapter, personal pages of politics are rendered as peculiar virtual political offices for their owners providing great opportunities to communicate with their target audiences.

Personal Web Page: This is defined in CMC theory as a Web site that is typically maintained by one individual or family or an organization ( Dominick, 1999 , p. 646). Personal home pages enable people to create their own content and distribute it on the net. Usually the start or the home page presents the first document that users encounter when entering the site. The home page orientates the user to the site, informs about its purpose, states what type of information can be obtained, and provides links to other relevant sites or documents.

Cyber-Politics: This involves information dissemination, communication exchange, and the formation of electronic political coalitions across the Internet. This includes a variety of media including e-mail, Web pages, discussion groups, online databases and research, and online news.

Identity: This is rendered differently during the various historical periods. In premodern societies, an individual identity was fixed, solid, and stable. Identity was based on predefined social roles and traditional societal systems with established beliefs and behavior patterns. Identity was not a subject of reflection or negotiation. Identity theories traditionally assume a notion of identity as homogeneous and stable; however, postmodern identity is understood as a patchwork or pastiche of independent and partially contradictory subidentities, which are to be constructed anew in everyday identity work and related to one another to support a sense of coherence.

Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC): This is the term that describes popular applications of the network, including electronic mail, electronic bulletin boards, Web pages, and so forth. The CMC is the class of computer-based technologies to assist people in getting in touch with each other. In this chapter, I review how key political actors through their personal home pages use all possibilities provided by the net and how CMC has found its way into the political office routine activity.

Political Communication: Participating in the political process is a privilege of any democratic society. It is vital to maintaining a healthy democratic community. Central to political communication is political communication. It involves the public, the mass media, the government, and the interest groups providing the link among them. It initiates the models of relations between political institutions and individuals. The Internet makes it easier for people to communicate with their government representatives, politically organize, debate topics, and educate each other about political issues. In its turn, main political actors are able to communicate effectively through the Web with their citizenry. Thus the net provides a new communication channel for sending political message and receiving citizen feedback ( Barnes, 2003 , pp. 291-311).

Gender: This is rendered as social and cultural construct. Gender is viewed as a set of male and female behavioral and mental potentials that are shaped and developed by particular societies. Studying gender across cultures also allows us to appreciate and perhaps to refute arguments about the essential differences between women and men. At the same time, such comparative studies permit us to identify and celebrate any true universals about men and women.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Kathleen Blake Yancey
Acknowledgment
Chapter 1
Pamela Estes Brewer
Virtual workplaces are constructed of people using technology to work at a distance, with the goal of transferring knowledge (both explicit and... Sample PDF
Gains and Losses in the Rhetoric of Virtual Workplaces
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Chapter 2
Christie L. McDaniel
Virtual teams are become more and more popular as the world becomes more connected; furthermore, research is suggesting that virtual teams are as... Sample PDF
Removing Space and Time: Tips for Managing the Virtual Workplace
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Chapter 3
Marie C. Paretti, Lisa D. McNair
This chapter uses activity theory as a lens to understand the implications of both virtual collaboration and cross-cultural contact for... Sample PDF
Communication in Global Virtual Activity Systems
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Chapter 4
Jamie S. Switzer
The world now lives and works in cyberspace. Often, organizations have their people perform functional tasks by working in virtual teams, where... Sample PDF
Successful Communication in Virtual Teams and the Role of the Virtual Team Leader
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Chapter 5
S. J. Overbeek, P. van Bommel, H. A. Proper, D. B.B. Rijsenbrij
Exchange of knowledge is becoming increasingly important to modern organizations. In this chapter, it is explained what this elementary knowledge... Sample PDF
Foundations and Applications of Intelligent Knowledge Exchange
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Chapter 6
Michelle Rodino-Colocino
Although the debate on the digital divide has evolved from an analysis of access to skill, scholars have largely neglected the significance of... Sample PDF
Digital Divide Redux: Why the Greatest Gap is Ideological
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Chapter 7
Parawork  (pages 81-97)
Leah A. Zuidema
The term parawork describes spaces and activities that function alongside—yet also outside—of traditional workplaces. Parawork spaces are not... Sample PDF
Parawork
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Chapter 8
Jamie S. Switzer
In face-to-face interactions, people generally form impressions by focusing on a variety of nonverbal cues. Increasingly, however, people are... Sample PDF
Impression Formation in Computer-Mediated Communication and Making a Good (Virtual) Impression
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Chapter 9
Alan D. Smith
Telecommuting is a tool that is becoming more and more a way a life for organizations as they strive to recruit and retain employees and assist them... Sample PDF
Telecommuting and the Management of the Human Moment
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Chapter 10
Bolanle A. Olaniran, David A. Edgell
This chapter introduces and explains some critical issues regarding Cultural Implications of Collaborative Information Technologies (CITs) in... Sample PDF
Cultural Implications of Collaborative Information Technologies (CITs) in International Online Collaborations and Global Virtual Teams
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Chapter 11
Yulin Fang, Dev K. Dutta
Despite a sizable body of literature on virtual organization, little attention has been paid to defining organizational virtuality and identifying... Sample PDF
Explaining Organizational Virtuality: Insights from the Knowledge-Based View
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Chapter 12
Frankie S. Jones
This chapter discusses the findings of a qualitative research study which explored how collaborative technologies facilitate or inhibit the work of... Sample PDF
The Perceptions of Collaborative Technologies Among Virtual Workers
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Chapter 13
J. Ramsay, M. Hair, K. V. Renaud
The way humans interact with one another in the 21st Century has been markedly influenced by the integration of a number of different communication... Sample PDF
Ubiquitous Connectivity & Work-Related Stress
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Chapter 14
Robert Sprague
This chapter addresses the legal aspects of employee privacy in virtual workplaces. The body of law regarding employee workplace privacy that has... Sample PDF
Employee Privacy in Virtual Workplaces
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Chapter 15
Belinda Davis Lazarus
Virtual workplaces offer persons with disabilities new opportunities in the workplace that may simultaneously accommodate their disabilities while... Sample PDF
Accommodating Persons with Disabilities in Virtual Workplaces
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Chapter 16
William F. Ritke-Jones
This chapter will explain transformative learning and its value and application to corporate training practices by promoting critical reflection on... Sample PDF
Using Cyberspace to Promote Transformative Learning Experiences and Consequently Democracy in the Workplace
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Chapter 17
Julia D. Sweeny
Online training or, e-training, can be less expensive, more efficient, and more productive than traditional face-to-face instruction. This chapter... Sample PDF
Instructional Design and E-Training
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Chapter 18
Parissa Haghirian, Bernd Simon
With the modern business environment becoming increasingly dependent on technology, management teaching in higher education faces the challenging... Sample PDF
Designing the Virtual Classroom for Management Teaching
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Chapter 19
Christa Ehmann Powers, Beth L. Hewett
Companies that conduct their business either in an entirely online setting or in hybrid environments (i.e., online and face-to-face) are in a unique... Sample PDF
Building Online Training Programs for Virtual Workplaces
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Chapter 20
Terrie Lynn Thompson
Before we can exploit new technologies to realize new ways of working, we must be able to imagine innovative possibilities for learning.... Sample PDF
The Virtual Classroom @ Work
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Chapter 21
Judith Szerdahelyi
In addition to their traditional low-tech repertoire of cheating methods, students are now compromising academic integrity by utilizing... Sample PDF
Video Technology for Academic Integrity in Online Courses
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Chapter 22
Kalyani Chatterjea
The concept of the virtual workplace is used in three initiatives to create an out-of-classroom environment where learners worked on virtual space... Sample PDF
Virtual Workplaces for Learning in Singapore
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Chapter 23
Mona Florea, Lillian Rafeldt, Susan Youngblood
The chapter presents healthcare examples of the current virtual working environment and introduces nursing skills necessary for evidence-based... Sample PDF
Using an Information Literacy Program to Prepare Nursing Students to Practice in a Virtual Workplace
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Chapter 24
Gary Hepburn
This chapter explores the potential of an educational commons to help schools better prepare students for the virtual workplace. Together with the... Sample PDF
Preparing for the Virtual Workplace in the Educational Commons
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Chapter 25
Alan McCord, Morell D. Boone
Our global business climate is rapidly evolving to require greater use of virtual work tools. This chapter provides an overview of today’s virtual... Sample PDF
Technologies and Services in Support of Virtual Workplaces
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Chapter 26
Kristie Edwards, Simeon Yates, Anne-Florence Dujardin, Geff Green
A healthy balance between social and task-oriented activities helps teamwork. In virtual teams, e-mail texts must often carry both task-oriented and... Sample PDF
Writing Research into Professional E-Mail Communication
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Chapter 27
Matt Barton
There are few terms in the past decade that have excited the popular imagination more than “New Media,” even though few self-described “New Media”... Sample PDF
New Media and the Virtual Workplace
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Chapter 28
Ran Wei
This chapter introduces adoption theory and applies it to examine the use of wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi), which has the potential to expand virtual... Sample PDF
Adoption of Wi-Fi Technologies and Creation of Virtual Workplaces
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Chapter 29
Clint Bowers, Peter A. Smith, Jan Cannon-Bowers, Denise Nicholson
Virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online games are becoming a useful tool for distributed teams. From providing a common working place, to... Sample PDF
Using Virtual Worlds to Assist Distributed Teams
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Chapter 30
Peter Rive
This chapter considers the virtual world Second Life as a workplace. It argues that despite its apparent novelty, Second Life is descended from a... Sample PDF
Knowledge Transfer and Marketing in Second Life
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Chapter 31
Goran Vlasic, Jurica Pavicic, Zoran Krupka
This chapter deals with the importance of intranets as knowledge management tools/media enabling efficient knowledge exchange and development within... Sample PDF
Intranets: Interactive Knowledge Management Tools of Networked Communities
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Chapter 32
Beth L. Hewett, Russell J. Hewett
This chapter discusses instant messaging (IM) as a valuable digital tool that has influenced business communication practices at least as much as... Sample PDF
Instant Messaging (IM) Literacy in the Workplace
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Chapter 33
Aizhong Lin, Erik Vullings, James Dalziel
This chapter introduces the trust virtual organization as a means of facilitating authentication and authorization for sharing distributed and... Sample PDF
Supporting Collaboration with Trust Virtual Organization
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Chapter 34
James K. Ford, Tobias Höllerer
Until recently, Augmented Reality (AR) technology has rarely been discussed outside of the computer science world. It has taken years for this... Sample PDF
Augmented Reality and the Future of Virtual Workspaces
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Chapter 35
James R. Zimmerman
This chapter applies the evolving principles of electronic communication rhetoric and recent leadership theory to the daily practice of e-mail... Sample PDF
Virtual Writing as Actual Leadership
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Chapter 36
José A. Rodrigues Nt, Jano Moreira de Souza, Geraldo Zimbrão, Geraldo Xexéo, Mutaleci Miranda
Business Process Management (BPM) brings together the idea of effectively managing organizations and properly using Information Technology to... Sample PDF
Business Process Reuse and Standardization with P2P Technologies
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Chapter 37
Norman E. Youngblood, Joel West
Collaborative writing is an important element of the virtual workplace. While it is sometimes enough to e-mail a document back and forth between... Sample PDF
Collaborative Writing Tools in the Virtual Workplace
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Chapter 38
Distance Internships  (pages 544-554)
David A. Edgell
Academic internships and cooperative programs exist so that students can build a bridge between their academic learning and their professional... Sample PDF
Distance Internships
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Chapter 39
Lei Lei Meng, Robert Schafer
This chapter aims to define a plan for an international virtual office by exploring the problems that hamper communication within a virtual office.... Sample PDF
An International Virtual Office Communication Plan
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Chapter 40
Diego Liberati
A framework is proposed that creates, uses, communicates, and distributes information whose organizational dynamics allow it to perform a... Sample PDF
Design and Managing of Distributed Virtual Organizations
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Chapter 41
Heinz D. Knoell
In this chapter we will present semi virtual workplace (SVWP) concepts in the German financial sector (FS) industry. We give a short introduction... Sample PDF
Semi Virtual Workplaces in German Financial Service Enterprises
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Chapter 42
R. Todd Stephens
This chapter examines the critical task of providing client support for virtual environments. The vast majority of information workers are not... Sample PDF
Implementing Client-Support for Collaborative Spaces
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Chapter 43
Douglas Eyman
This chapter proposes an analytic for the assessment of sustainability and success of virtual workplaces. This analytic considers value, visibility... Sample PDF
Value, Visibility, Virtual Teamwork at Kairos
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Chapter 44
Wendy Warren Austin
This chapter explains to business people, administrators, and educator/trainers what plagiarism is and is not, and explores authorship ambiguities... Sample PDF
Plagiarism, Ghostwriting, Boilerplate, and Open Content
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Chapter 45
Dana Lynn Driscoll, H. Allen Brizee, Michael Salvo, Morgan Sousa
This chapter describes results of usability research conducted on the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). The Purdue OWL is an information-rich... Sample PDF
Usability and User-Centered Theory for 21st Century OWLs
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Chapter 46
Neil P. Baird
Virtual workplaces are no longer the province of young technophiles, and we must become more conscious of the particular challenges and issues those... Sample PDF
Negotiating Virtual Identity in an Age of Globalization
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Chapter 47
Olena Igorivna Goroshko
Based on the underlying assumption that gender is a social construct, this chapter explores the World Wide Web home pages of key political figures... Sample PDF
Virtual Political Office Where Gender and Culture Meet
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Chapter 48
Eric Franzén
The Internet and other new technologies have made possible an ever-growing availability of distribution channels. New paths are being blazed for... Sample PDF
The Benefits of Using Print-On-Demand or POD
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Chapter 49
María José Crisóstomo-Acevedo, José Aurelio Medina-Garrido
Telemedicine requires a new type of worker: the health care teleworker. Nevertheless, physicians remain wary of adopting telemedicine. This work... Sample PDF
Difficulties in Accepting Telemedicine
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Chapter 50
Michael J. Klein
This chapter provides educators instructional methods for teaching audience analysis to students in professional writing courses. It argues that a... Sample PDF
Reconsidering the Lay-Expert Audience Divide
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Chapter 51
Jayantha P. Liyanage
Operational enterprising is gradually emerging as a new solution to manage offshore assets on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). This is seen as... Sample PDF
Rapid Virtual Enterprising to Manage Complex and High-Risk Assets
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About the Contributors