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Applying CMC Theoreis to Assess Virtual Community
Unformatted Document Text:  CMC Theories and Virtual Community 4 Many studies on community have found that community members not only share the same interest but also have sense of belonging to the community which is defined as “a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together” (McMillan & Chavis, 1986, p. 9). McMillan & Chavis's (1986) proposed by far the most influential, and their notion of “sense of community” is the starting point for most of the recent research on psychological sense of community. The sense of community includes four elements: membership; influence, fulfillment of needs and trade; and shared emotional connection. Membership encompasses physical attributes such as language, dress, and ritual, indicating who belongs and who does not and emotional attributes like emotional safety, sense of belonging and identification, personal investment, and a common symbol system. Later, McMillan (1996) placed greater emphasis on the "spirit" of community deriving from "the spark of friendship" (p. 315). Influence refers to bi-directional influence on individual and group levels and integration and fulfillment or needs is defined as perceived similarity to others and homogeneity which lead to group interaction and cohesion. In their discussion, McMillan and Chavis suggest that their working definition of sense of community applies equally to places and people and that in territorial communities, it is nonetheless the nature of human interactions within those boundaries that create a sense of community. That is to say that for McMillan and Chavis, the people make the place. Without this sense of belonging, it is a mere association rather than a community (Burke, 1996). A number of research findings report that sense of community membership is a critical element of building and maintaining community and fostering collective actions among community members. It is this sense of membership that

Authors: Chung, Siyoung.
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CMC Theories and Virtual Community
4
Many studies on community have found that community members not only
share the same interest but also have sense of belonging to the community which is
defined as “a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared
faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together”
(McMillan & Chavis, 1986, p. 9). McMillan & Chavis's (1986) proposed by far the
most influential, and their notion of “sense of community” is the starting point for most
of the recent research on psychological sense of community. The sense of community
includes four elements: membership; influence, fulfillment of needs and trade; and
shared emotional connection. Membership encompasses physical attributes such as
language, dress, and ritual, indicating who belongs and who does not and emotional
attributes like emotional safety, sense of belonging and identification, personal
investment, and a common symbol system. Later, McMillan (1996) placed greater
emphasis on the "spirit" of community deriving from "the spark of friendship" (p. 315).
Influence refers to bi-directional influence on individual and group levels and
integration and fulfillment or needs is defined as perceived similarity to others and
homogeneity which lead to group interaction and cohesion. In their discussion,
McMillan and Chavis suggest that their working definition of sense of community
applies equally to places and people and that in territorial communities, it is nonetheless
the nature of human interactions within those boundaries that create a sense of
community. That is to say that for McMillan and Chavis, the people make the place.
Without this sense of belonging, it is a mere association rather than a community
(Burke, 1996). A number of research findings report that sense of community
membership is a critical element of building and maintaining community and fostering
collective actions among community members. It is this sense of membership that


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