- Copyright Page
- About the contributors
- Communication in the Networked Age
- Networks and Information Flow: The Second Golden Age
- Rebooting Mass Communication: Using Computational and Network Tools to Rebuild Media Theory
- Propagation Phenomena in Social Media
- Dynamical Processes in Time-Varying Networks
- Partition-Specific Network Analysis of Digital Trace Data: Research Questions and Tools
- How Can Computational Social Science Motivate the Development of Theories, Data, and Methods to Advance Our Understanding of Communication and Organizational Dynamics?
- The New Dynamics of Organizational Change
- Online Communication by Emergency Responders during Crisis Events
- Studying Populations of Online Communities
- Gender and Networks in Virtual Worlds
- Understanding Social Dynamics Online: Social Networks, Social Capital, and Social Interactions
- The Analysis of Social Capital in Digital Environments: A Social Investment Approach
- Multiplying the Medium: Tie Strength, Social Role, and Mobile Media Multiplexity
- Revolutionizing Mental Health with Social Media
- The Neuroscience of Information Sharing
- Political Communication Research in a Networked World
- Modeling and Measuring Deliberation Online
- Moving Beyond Sentiment Analysis: Social Media and Emotions in Political Communication
- Dynamics of Attention and Public Opinion in Social Media
- A Satisficing Search Model of Text Production
- Studying Networked Communication in the Middle East: Social Disrupter and Social Observatory
- Mobile Space and Agility as the Subversive Partner
- One Foot on the Streets, One Foot on the Web: Analyzing the Ecosystem of Protest Movements in an Era of Pervasive Digital Communication
- Our Stage, Our Streets: Brooklyn Drag and the Queer Imaginary
- Digital Mapping of Urban Mobility Patterns
- Research on Mobile Phone Data in the Global South: Opportunities and Challenges
- The Ethics of Digital Research
- Digital Trace Data and Social Research: A Proactive Research Ethics
- A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Web Data Collection
- Responsible Research on Social Networks: Dilemmas and Solutions
- Unintended Consequences of Using Digital Methods in Difficult Research Environments
- Ethical Issues in Internet Research: The Case of China
- The Past and Future of Communication Research
Abstract and Keywords
Virtual worlds are two- or three-dimensional spaces with multiple modalities in which users can engage in mediated interactions with other users. In virtual worlds, users have the freedom to craft and assume identities that are unburdened by offline biases based on gender, race, and other sociodemographic characteristics. How do men and women build collaborative and socio-emotional relationships in these worlds? Does gender influence social network dynamics online, consistent with offline gender norms? This chapter first offers an overview of gender disparities and social relationships in virtual worlds, followed by a review of the challenges and benefits of the current approaches to studying gender and virtual worlds. Then it provides an empirical research example, situated in the massively multiplayer online game EverQuest II (EQII), focusing on gender and networks of collaboration. It concludes by identifying a few limitations to current approaches and suggesting future directions with digital trace data.
Grace Benefield is a PhD candidate in the department of communication at the University of California, Davis, CA.
Cuihua Shen is an Associate Professor of Communication at the University of California, Davis, CA.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.