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An exploration of concepts of community through a case study of UK university web production

By A.M. Cox

Abstract

The paper explores the inter-relation and differences between the concepts of occupational community, community of practice, online community and social network. It uses as a case study illustration the domain of UK university web site production and specifically a listserv for those involved in it. Different latent occupational communities are explored, and the potential for the listserv to help realize these as an active sense of community is considered. The listserv is not (for most participants) a tight knit community of practice, indeed it fails many criteria for an online community. It is perhaps best conceived as a loose knit network of practice, valued for information, implicit support and for the maintenance of weak ties. Through the analysis the case for using strict definitions of the theoretical concepts is made

Publisher: SAGE Publications
Year: 2008
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:9044

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