Toward the future: A conceptual review and call for research and action with online communities
AuthorSteltenpohl, Crystal N.
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
Keywordresearch topic: social sciences::psychology
TitleToward the future: A conceptual review and call for research and action with online communities
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractThe internet allows people to connect with virtually anyone across the globe, building communities based on shared interests, experiences, and goals. Despite the potential for furthering our understanding of communities more generally through exploring them in online contexts, online communities have not generally been a focus of community psychologists. A conceptual, state-of-the-art review of eight major community psychology journals revealed 23 descriptive or empirical articles concerning online communities have been published in the past 20 years. These articles are primarily descriptive and can be organized into four categories: community building and maintenance (seven articles, 30.43%), community support (six articles, 26.09%), norms and attitudes (six articles, 26.09%), and advocacy (four articles, 17.39%). These articles reflect a promising start to understanding how we can utilize the internet to build and enhance communities. They also indicate how much further we have to go, both in understanding online communities and certain concepts regarding community psychology more generally. Community psychologists involved in practice and applied settings specifically may benefit from understanding online communities as they become integral components of advocacy, community organizing, and everyday life.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Exploring online and gaming communities through community psychologySteltenpohl, Crystal N.Through three manuscripts, this dissertation explores the potential for understanding online and hybrid gaming communities through a community psychology perspective. The first manuscript reviews literature on online communities in major community psychology journals. Historically, community psychologists have focused on community building and maintenance, community support, communication norms, and advocacy. There are opportunities, however, to explore other topics relevant to community psychologists’ interests and collaborate with researchers in other fields. The second manuscript reports the findings of a mixed-methods survey of 496 fighting game community (FGC) members. It explores FGC members’ metastereotypes, explanations for why certain portrayals of the community exist, and their effects on the FGC. Generally, FGC members believe inaccurate stereotypes about the FGC specifically and the gaming community more generally exist, due in part to a lack of understanding and/or ulterior motives. Negative portrayals of the community are largely seen as harmful to the community. This study emphasizes understanding how communities believe others see them and how that can affect community dynamics. The final qualitative manuscript examines perspectives of the social identity of people who play games, emphasizing the importance of understanding the “gamer” identity through more than unidimensional measures like gaming habits. The variance in identity centrality, required behaviors, player motivations, and perceptions about the label highlight the complexity of the “gamer” identity label. Taken together, these manuscripts offer a rationale for and exemplars of studying online and hybrid gaming communities through a community psychology perspective. They also argue for an increased attention to opportunities for interdisciplinary work.
Sculpt EVV : an innovative community revitalization partnership between the City of Evansville and the University of Southern IndianaWalker, Larura M.Blight and stigma have plagued a core inner-city neighborhood of Evansville, Indiana for decades. The area formally known as Haynie's Comer was this neighborhood. Through implementation of a revitalization plan including various public and private entities and coordination with the University of Southern Indiana, changes to the vitality of the neighborhood have already begun. The partnerships between the city of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana and the inclusion of an annual national outdoor sculpture competition, SculptEVV, have been initiated. Continued partnership in the revitalization of efforts will turn this once blighted area and currently "income-depressed" city from poverty to prime allowing for significant change and stability. This thesis is a reflection of past, current, and proposed future efforts to continue that work. It will establish the need and desire to continue the work. In conclusion, I have defined the ways in which the partnership and work can continue to provide a positive outcome for the city of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana.
Community Awareness Police : an educational after school program, a directed projectRobinson, Karla A.Juvenile crime has been steadily increasing in this country. The nature of the offenses committed by those under the age of 18 are becoming more violent, while the number of juvenile victims also continues to rise. Communities across the nation are looking for ways to deter this problem. Schools as well as various social service agencies are implementing a wide array of programs aimed at keeping kids away from drugs and violence. This paper will review some of the programs that have been used in other communities, taking the more successful aspects and using those in an outline for a program to implemented locally. The program, titled 11 Community Awareness Police" will target students from three local middle schools and will focus on educating the participants about our community. The goal of this program is to entertain as well as educate the participants on an assortment of topics selected to provide information that will enable the students to make positive choices when faced with difficult decisions later in life.