THE COMPLEX SIMPLICITY OF CONTEXT. AFFORDANCES AS FLOWS OF SOCIAL INFORMATION
Keywords:affordances, situation, reddit, norms, culture
AbstractAffordances are central to consider how sociality and technology intertwine. However, while this entanglement propelled the popularity of the term, it also persistently connected the social and the technical. It is argued how considering affordances as eminently social opens up analytical possibilities to consider cultural, individual, and social contexts, and how these in turn can affect social action in digital environments. This means considering affordances as intersubjective and co-constructed, and posing them in relation to sociological tenets such as that of the social situation. Through 26 interviews with a variety of Reddit users, results suggest how affordances are understood and employed relationally to navigate complex social contexts, to infer dominant social norms and cultural codes and, once internalized, are deployed to sanction deviations or promote compliance to them. It is shown how the concepts of affordances and social situations can be fruitfully employed as an entry point into the cultural and social dynamics of groups and digital environments. Contextually, it challenges the idea of the social situation as a sociological concept rooted in physical interaction.
How to Cite
Rama, I. (2023). THE COMPLEX SIMPLICITY OF CONTEXT. AFFORDANCES AS FLOWS OF SOCIAL INFORMATION. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2022i0.13075