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Empowering or Disempowering? Online Support Among Seafarer-Partners

Past research in sociology and social psychology has revealed two aspects of online support. This mutual support among members of online support groups brings about empowerment as well as produces common values. The interaction between the two, however, has not been explicitly explored. This paper fills in this gap by examining the activities of a group of seafarer-partners in an online support group. It shows that common beliefs and values in groups can make online support, which is supposed to be empowering, serve disempowering purposes. This suggests that online support can produce a tension between empowerment and disempowerment. The finding leads to the conclusion that group values condition the empowerment potential of online support.

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File URL: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/15/2/6/6.pdf
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Article provided by Sociological Research Online in its journal Sociological Research Online.

Volume (Year): 15 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 6

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Handle: RePEc:sro:srosro:2009-106-3
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