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Endnotes –

Pertinent Reflective Journal Extracts

1 Reflective Journal Extract No.1: The guidelines provided by Mikael

(as book editor) clearly indicates an expectation the chapter would

present “issues, controversies, problems” associated with the main

thrust of the chapter and then provide “solutions and recommendations

in dealing with them.” I wondered though, like Rafaeli did, if

effects are the only focus of study? He argued “that some of the more

important contributions of communication research are in a better

understanding of what goes on, even without these ‘goings on’

necessarily getting anyone anywhere. Intended effects or salient

dangers play an important part, but there is much more to studying

communication than just documenting what it actually does to

people” (Newhagen & Rafaeli, 1996, para. 30). I agree. Hence,

understanding more about, and reflecting on, what occurs for people

and their interactions with others at work as they use email encapsulates

my aim with this chapter rather than the seeking of “solutions

or recommendations” in dealing with the issues. However, I will

include a brief exploration of some of the management implications

that flow from my study at the end of the chapter.

2 Reflective Journal Extract No.2 … Hope it’s clear that my research

interests centre on understanding more about the social phenomena

of email in an intraorganisational context and then telling engaging

stories about it. One of my aims with the stories I tell is to craft a

vicarious experience for readers that illuminates email as a component

of organisational life complete with its inherent social complexity

and richness. To this end, I include a range of extracts quoted from

the ethnographic conversations I had with the study participants:

some are quite succinct while others reflect more fully the rich

flavour of the spoken conversations. My aim is to portray what was

said as well as what was unsaid (for example, non-speech events such

as laughter, pauses and even umms and uhhhs are sometimes inEmail

cluded in these extracts). By providing such thick descriptions of the

data, I seek to engage my readers with a sense of déjà vu. I am not

seeking the truth about email rather I am opening a dialogue where

others may find themselves in the text alongside me and the social

world that I am describing.

3 Reflective Journal Extract No.3 … Now that my chapter is written,

I’m wondering how well it will ‘fit,’ particularly with the book

coming from an informatics perspective. It’s a cross-disciplinary

jump for me but I believe that such interactions help paint a more

reflective picture of just what is happening. I emailed my concerns to

Mikael about my chapter being appropriate and his response was

“the idea with the book is to give an overall picture of the emerging

Interaction Society enabled by modern information technology which

is kind of a broad theme so don’t worry too much about the fit and

the scope.” Then he said, “ Good luck.”

4 Final Reflective Journal Extract … Well, I have now received the

two reviewers’ feedback and the comments clearly show that the

contemporary style of representation did not fit at all well. While

support was evident that my work was relevant and appropriate for

the book, both suggested I abandon the ethnographic writing style.

The story-telling format was soundly rejected by both, as was my

writing in the first person. The dialogue opened up by my journal

extracts also seemed confusing and they were similarly frowned

upon. However, some useful suggestions were made re positioning

the theoretical framework more firmly within the IT ethnographic

literature and advice re: teasing out the implications of the message

web concept more specifically, particularly in the final part of the

chapter was also helpful. So, what to do? Do I want to make

significant changes to the chapter (in both structure and style) to

conform to “the traditionally right way of doing things”?, to enable

my chapter to be an acceptable contribution to this book. In resolving

this dilemma, I’ve done some restructuring of the chapter (included

a method section and I’ve also moved these journal extracts from the

body of the chapter into these endnotes). One reviewer specifically

mentioned an article about the publication process where the author

discusses what battles to fight with advice to “only stick your neck

into one guillotine”. The reviewer goes on to suggest that I “let go of

the guillotine of the form of the chapter, i.e., the I-form as well as the

 ‘storytelling’.” After pondering this for some time, I have decided

that even though it is important to get my work ‘out there’ and

legitimatised through publication, some battles are worth fighting —

I’ve chosen to keep the ethnographic techniques I’ve used in writing

this chapter.

Social Exile and Virtual Hrig 57