Mediated interaction in the digital age

  • John B. Thompson University of Cambridge, Department of Sociology. Cambridge – Cambridgeshire, United United Kingdom
Keywords: Communications, interaction, media, visibility, whistleblowers


In The media and modernity, Thompson develops an interactional theory of communication media that distinguishes between three basic types of interaction: 1) face-to-face interaction, 2) mediated interaction, and 3) mediated quasi-interaction. In the light of the digital revolution and the growth of the internet, this paper introduces a fourth type: mediated online interaction. Drawing on Goffman’s distinction between front regions and back regions, Thompson shows how mediated quasi-interaction and mediated online interaction create new opportunities for the leakage of information and symbolic content from back regions into front regions, with consequences that can be embarrassing, damaging and, on occasion, hugely disruptive.


Download data is not yet available.
How to Cite
Thompson, J. (2018). Mediated interaction in the digital age. MATRIZes, 12(3), 17-44. Retrieved from