The Community Club

Discussion on: What exactly *is* community?

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Oliver Ding

I think it is easy to test this. Let's say there is a group of people who share a common practice. Now they have two places for having conversation about their common practice. 1. They have the conversation in the living room of one member's house. 2. They have the conversation on a subreddit. Should we claim that this group of people form two communities?

It depends on your unit of analysis. If you want to find a unit of analysis which combines people, activity and place. I think you can consider the concept of "Behavior Settings".

In fact, I personally like the theory of Behavior Settings because it provides a new unit of analysis for studying digital platforms such as "a subreddit-based practice" or "a twitter hashtag-based practice".

Here you even can find someone uses the theory to understand virtual community.

Virtual Behavior Settings: an Application of Behavior Setting Theories to Virtual Communities
academic.oup.com/jcmc/article/9/2/...

I think we don't have to use the concept "community" to understand all types of social phenomena.