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How to Win a World Election: Gender, Power & Leadership among Young People On Line

Date and Time
Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Computer Science Small Auditorium (Room 105)
Justine Cassell, from Northwestern University
Maria Klawe
"Digital divide" vs."melting pot", "great liberator" vs."social stratifier". In all of the rhetoric comparing Internet use among diverse populations, remarkably little attention has been paid to the voices of the users themselves. In this talk I will discuss an on-line community designed to unite over 3000 young people from 139 countries, and the research analyzing their on-line discourse over a period of five years. The participants, aged 10 to 16, spoke many different languages and represented a wide variety of economic and cultural backgrounds. Without ever seeing each other face-to-face, and in a community almost entirely free of adult intervention, these young people traded messages, and then elected leaders to represent their community in a real-world meeting in Boston with political and industry leaders from around the world. I will discuss results from our empirical study on the linguistic style differences and language cues that predict who was elected a leader on-line. Results demonstrate the ways in which leadership and community involvement for these young people on-line takes on very different forms from that prized by adults, and from that described for young people in the face-to-face world. This lecture is part of the /@rts series which explores interrelations of new technologies and traditional practices of arts and humanities.

For more information about this lecture, /@rts the series and sponsoring organizations, please visit our website: http://www.princeton.edu/slasharts

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