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OII Forum on Relationships and the Internet

What Forum
When Dec 04, 2009
from 10:00 am to 04:00 pm
Where Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 1 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3JS., GB
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by Zinayida Petrushyna last modified Oct 13, 2009 04:42 PM


Background to the forum

Research on the role of the Internet in meeting new people is an increasingly vital area of inquiry, and is illustrated by a burgeoning literature on such topics as online dating. However, the Internet may shape many other aspects of relationships beyond introducing individuals, such as in undermining or maintaining ongoing relationships, from courtship to marriage.

This forum will look at the state of the art of academic research on relationships and the Internet and how this research informs research on the social aspects of the Internet in general, such as issues of trust and identity. Cross-national and cross-cultural aspects will be addressed in ways that can illuminate general cross-cultural trends and responses shaping use of the Internet in building and maintaining relationships. The forum will draw out the connections between this research and such emerging issues of policy and practice as involved in efforts to foster a digital economy in Europe.

The forum will bring together researchers in the fields of online dating, social networking, and the role of information and communication technologies in interpersonal relationships with practitioners from a growing and international relationship industry and policy-makers concerned with consumer protection and media literacy in a digital age.

Instructions for participants

Invited participants will be asked to prepare a brief (1-3 page) position paper, which outlines key research issues of significance to extending this field beyond its early focus on dating, to incorporate all stages of relationships. Position papers should also draw the connections between research, policy and practice in one of the most burgeoning areas of commercial activity in the online world – one with truly major economic and social implications.

Position papers will be used to shape the agenda for roundtable discussions to be held throughout the day-long forum. The position papers and the discussion will be used to prepare an OII Forum Discussion Paper that conveys the themes arising from this forum to a more general public audience.


This forum is supported by a grant from eHarmony® (See:, through its support of the OII project Me, My Spouse and the Internet.

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Name: Zinayida Petrushyna
From: UA
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