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A Systemic Approach to Online Sharing Motivations: A Cross-Disciplinary Synthesis of Rhetorical Analysis and Gift Research
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2012 (English)In: Virtual Community Participation and Motivation: Cross-Disciplinary Theories / [ed] Honglei Li, Hershey: IGI Global, 2012, 192-207 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this conceptual chapter is to present and argue for a cross-disciplinary and systemic approach to the examination of motivations for sharing digital media objects via social mediating technologies. The theoretical foundation of this approach is built on two social theories from rhetorical analysis (Burke’s pentad) and gift research (gift systems), respectively. A synthesis of these two theories provides an approach capable of producing more coherent and contextually grounded insights regarding online sharing motivations. The reason these two theories were identified as useful is that they acknowledge and incorporate social and contextual factors. This is important to overcome the assumption that motivations to share are detached from the specifics of actors, situations, and sociotechnical means. As such, this cross-disciplinary combination challenges the limited, but common approach of trying to identify generic motivations for contributing to virtual communities. Instead, this chapter argues for a consideration of situated and contextual motivations for contributing by highlighting the conceptual questions what, to whom, how, where, and finally, why. In conclusion, the chapter fills a gap in the literature on online motivations mainly because current models focus on motivations as self-containing. Instead, this chapter suggests to consider sociotechnical means, types of relationships, values of media objects, identity, or culture in cohort.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hershey: IGI Global, 2012. 192-207 p.
Keyword [en]
rhetorical analysis, gift systems
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-76862DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0312-7.ch012ISBN: 9781466603127ISBN: 9781466603134OAI: diva2:527626
Available from: 2012-05-21 Created: 2012-05-21 Last updated: 2016-10-24Bibliographically approved

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Skågeby, Jörgen
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ReferencesLink to record
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