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Presentation: Community Connections in a Mediated World

I’ll be exploring the potential for media-supported community building, both locally and globally, based on results from my original research on sense of community at the IV International Conference of Community Psychology. Here is the summary:

Analysis of my survey responses, including the Brief Sense of Community Scale and open-ended questions, shows that sense of community varies by community type not only in traditional community settings but also in online communities. Participants (n=77) were World of Warcraft guild (team of players) members and answered questions about sense of community in four different communities to which they belong. As in traditional communities, there are differences in strength of sense of community between different types of online communities.

The implication is that we are able to experience a range of feelings within communities that is dependent upon unique properties of individual communities, even when communities are connected digitally. This opens up understanding of modern communities by linking past community research to emerging connections. Rather than concentrating solely on the media used to make a connection, we should look within communities to understand the impact they will have on members. We also can consider using emerging technology to connect new or existing communities in ways that are effective, emotional, and influential in our lives and society.