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SOC356Y1 (6)

Week 17: Reading Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Jennifer Kayahara

Week 17: Online Communities (Blanchard: Testing a Model of Sense of Virtual Community) Abstract A distinguishing feature of virtual communitiestheir sense of community, o Feelings of membership, identity, inuence, and attachment with each other. Introduction Groups of people interacting through computer-mediated communication have become common within organizations and society o what is common to these online groups is the members public exchange of information and support these online groups as virtual communities o Virtual communities: self-sustaining social systems in which members engage and connect with each other What makes an online group a virtual community? o A distinguishing feature of virtual communities from mere virtual groupstheir members feelings of community (a sense of virtual community) The purpose of this research: what contributes to members sense of virtual community Sense of Community SOC is desired in a community because it leads to satisfaction with and commitment to the community o is associated with involvement in community activities and problem-focused coping behaviour www.notesolution.com Sense of Community: an individuals feelings of membership, identity, belonging, and attachment with a group. the amount of interaction between community members and components of the physical environment led to SOC supportive exchanges between employees and the organization made a signicant positive contribution to their SOC measure in summary, member interactions and, particularly, the exchange of support between members are positively related to SOC Sense of Virtual Community Sense of community is also gaining attention in virtual communities. o However, the participants feelings of membership and inuence were weaker for SOVC compared to SOC (Obsts study) Blanchardexamined SOVC in newsgroup (agrees with Obst) o Found similarities to SOCincluding feelings of membership, integration of needs, and shared emotional connections. o However, distinct differences in their groups SOVC The virtual group members did not report feeling that they inuenced or were inuenced by others Also, the virtual group members reported feeling that simply recognizing others and relationships with specic other members were important to their SOVC o Feelings of membership, which include individuals feelings of identity with the community and its members, may not be the same in SOVC as SOC (agrees with Obst) www.notesolution.com
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