I will be presenting preliminary results from this research as part of a symposium at the 2011 Society for Community Research and Action biennial conference.
The symposium is titled Where Does Community Happen?: Exploring Psychological Sense of Community in Places and Spaces. Adrian Fischer will facilitate discussion by Jeanne Hartig, Benjamin Graham, and Jenny Fremlin.
Psychological sense of community (PSOC) has evolved as one of the most studied and debated constructs in the field of community psychology. This symposium will examine contemporary perspectives on PSOC research, with a focus on how PSOC differs and remains constant across different types of communities and communication modes. A feature of the symposium will be how online communication facilitates community experience.
The session begins with an evaluation of online grief support groups and their unique expression of PSOC. The second project examines the important issue of how generalizable PSOC theoretical models are across different types of communities. The final presentation will address the intersection of physical and virtual social interaction as it relates to the setting of college residential halls, with implications for student wellness and extrapolation to other communities. The session concludes with a group discussion of the implications and intersections of the work and themes presented.