Females tend to participate less and receive fewer responses than males in mixed-sex asynchronous discussion forums (Herring, 1993, 1996), whereas in chat rooms, females sometimes participate more actively and get more responses than males, e.g., because they are objects of flirtatious attention (Bruckman, 1993; Rodino, 1997).At the same time, gender roles vary across cultures, and along with them norms associated with how appropriate it is for women to speak and be heard in public, as well as attitudes associated with flirtation.
In face-to-face conversation, transition-relevance places (places where turn exchange is likely to occur) are indicated by a variety of prosodic and visual cues.
These include utterance-final intonation, deceleration, final stress, pausing, sustained eye contact, and signaling gestures of the head or hands (Duncan, 1972).
The current speaker may use names or vocatives, gaze, posture, or targeted moves such as direct questioning to select the next speaker (Strategy A).
Alternatively, next speakers may select themselves (Strategy B).
If no one self-selects, the current speaker may continue speaking (Strategy C). (1974) order the three strategies, noting that A is preferred over B and B over C.
In chat rooms, in contrast, gaze or gesture cannot be used to select the next speaker as in a face-to-face conversation.We interpret these findings in light of the effects of Web chat systems on turn-taking, majority group gender effects on online participation, and Thai cultural values. (1974) model of turn allocation, along with two approaches to analyzing turn-taking in computer-mediated chat conversations.This is followed by a review of literature on gender and computer-mediated discourse and gender roles in Thai culture.This paper is part of an ongoing study of initiation and response patterns manifested through the exchange of messages, or turn-taking, in a recreational Thai-language chat room on a Web site known as In considering questions such as who responds to whom, and how participants keep track of conversational threads in the popular multi-participant chat environment, we were struck by the fact that the chat participants were predominantly female, in contrast to English-language chat forums, which tend to have more male participants (three times as many males as females, according to some estimates; Herring, 2003).The next section describes the Thai chat data and the methods used to analyze turn allocation and flirtation.