based around hobby subcultures W r i t i n g
Now that you have observed your online community and written up your observations in your Ethnography, it’s time to take those observations and use them to write an analysis of that online community and any interesting issues or social realities connected to it that you think are worth writing about!
Write an essay that analyzes something significant/important about your chosen online community, culture, or social network.
- Your essay should have a clear main point (thesis statement) that analyzes something significant or important about the online community.
- Your essay should follow a traditional essay structure: this means it should have an introduction that sets up the thesis, body paragraphs that support and expand on the thesis, and a conclusion.
- The key to writing an analysis of this kind is to think about the online community you have chosen as a text that needs to be “read” critically and analyzed. As with any text, you will need to “read” (observe) it carefully (and more than once) to understand it. Ask questions, look for patterns, examine your own biases in connection to the text. Examine the parts of the text (community) that interest you, confuse you, frustrate you, or surprise you. Conversing with the “text” will also help; try interviewing members of the community to gain more insight or read “discourse” about an issue within the online community.
Note: You are not limited to these topics. These are simply examples of topics that would fit this writing task.
- Find a virtual space such as a forum or message board (for example, the ones on Reddit) for a community or culture that also exists in real life. These can be based around hobby subcultures, regional groups, or other things people have in common. How is the community online different from the community in “real life” in some significant way? Are there any issues with the way the community interacts and behaves with each other? On the other hand, is this online community a positive force in its members’ lives and how so?
- So much of our interactions with other people have moved online in recent years, and COVID has made these even more so! Examine a community that has emerged or become popular as a result of COVID and examine what need it is filling in people’s lives.
- Research a devoted fan or fandom community surrounding a television series, film, band, or popular book series. Where and how has the fan community built itself? Is there a structure or is it loosely connected only? Are there any known leaders or Big Name Fans (BNFs)? Is there a name or title for the community and/or the fans? Are there any issues involved in this community? Does the fandom help or hurt the original source material or group?
- Develop your own topic about an online community and an important issue connected to it!