Gender and Turn Allocation in a Thai Chat Room

  • Panyametheekul S
  • Herring S
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This paper analyzes gender in relation to turn allocation in a popular Thai chat room on the World Wide Web. We analyze turn-taking and response patterns in light of Sacks, Schegloff and Jefferson's (1974) model of turn allocation in face-to-face conversation, taking into consideration the independent variable of participant gender. We also analyze use of, and responses to, flirtation in the chat room. Our results show that females participate more often and receive a higher rate of response from both females and males. Males, who are in the minority, must work harder to take the floor, even in their attempted flirtatious interactions. These results suggest that gender interacts with culture online in complex ways: Contrary to previous findings on gender in chat rooms, and contrary to culturally-based expectations about the subordinate status of Thai women, females appear to be relatively empowered in the Thai chat room studied here, as assessed through turn allocation patterns.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Conversation analysis
  • Flirtation
  • Gender and culture
  • Synchronous CMC
  • Thai chat rooms
  • Turntaking

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