The Emergence of Agency in Online Social Networks

The Emergence of Agency in Online Social Networks

Jillianne R. Code (Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Nicholas E. Zaparyniuk (Simon Fraser University, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch716
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Social and group interactions in online and virtual communities develop and evolve from expressions of human agency. The exploration of the emergence of agency in social situations is of critical importance to understanding the psychology of agency and group interactions in social networks. This chapter explores how agency emerges from social interactions, how this emergence influences the development of social networks, and the role of social software’s potential as a powerful tool for educational purposes. Practical implications of agency as an emergent property within social networks provide a psychological framework that forms the basis for pedagogy of social interactivity. This chapter identifies and discusses the psychological processes necessary for the development of agency and to further understanding of individual’s engagement in online interactions for socialization and learning.

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