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Bridging Offline and Online Community: Toward A Networked Community Communication Model
Unformatted Document Text:  Bridging Offline and Online Community G X^ just the interpersonal relations based on face to face communication, but also indirect relations based on CMC, Calhoun explores how people are commonly linked on the electronic space, and how people build relationships within it. Community As a Social Network By criticizing the concept of “locality-based community”, Bender (1978) defines community not as a place or a physical space but as a social network. “Community, which has taken many structural forms in the past, is best defined as a network of social relations marked by mutuality and emotional bonds. This network, ······, is the essence of community, and it may or may not be coterminous with a specific, contiguous territory” (p.7). Although Bendeer did not clearly specify the concept of community as a social network, his definition helps us to understand the online community that is not based on the physical space or territory. In order to discuss a networked paradigm of community, first, it is necessary that community be understood in the perspective of not discontinuity, but continuity. This connotes that a networked paradigm of community assumes that community per se has consistently existed in contrast to community collapse or breakdown (see Wellman, 1999). That is to say, a networked community has simply not changed from Gemeinshaft to Gesellshaft, but it has coexisted along with each (Fisher et al., 1977, p. 14). In this vein, the social network paradigm focuses mainly on the individual and social relations as “a diversified set of structural phenomena” and therefore assumes that community has consistently existed and also will continue to exist without any kind of breakdown or collapse (Bender, 1978; Fisher, 1977). Basically, the social network analysis had gone beyond the traditional paradigm, which considered community as a distributed space. It seeks to find the social structure and social process as well as the individual itself (Wellman, 1999, p. 15). In discussing the usefulness of the social network approach, Wellman (1999) proposes the following three advantages (pp. 17-18). First, it helps in the study of broad social relationships regardless of type of location and structure. Second, it enables us to cover most

Authors: Nah, Seungahn.
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background image
Bridging Offline and Online Community
G
X^
just the interpersonal relations based on face to face communication, but also indirect relations
based on CMC, Calhoun explores how people are commonly linked on the electronic space,
and how people build relationships within it.
Community As a Social Network
By criticizing the concept of “locality-based community”, Bender (1978) defines
community not as a place or a physical space but as a social network. “Community, which
has taken many structural forms in the past, is best defined as a network of social relations
marked by mutuality and emotional bonds. This network, ······, is the essence of community,
and it may or may not be coterminous with a specific, contiguous territory” (p.7). Although
Bendeer did not clearly specify the concept of community as a social network, his definition
helps us to understand the online community that is not based on the physical space or territory.
In order to discuss a networked paradigm of community, first, it is necessary that
community be understood in the perspective of not discontinuity, but continuity. This
connotes that a networked paradigm of community assumes that community per se has
consistently existed in contrast to community collapse or breakdown (see Wellman, 1999).
That is to say, a networked community has simply not changed from Gemeinshaft to
Gesellshaft, but it has coexisted along with each (Fisher et al., 1977, p. 14).
In this vein, the social network paradigm focuses mainly on the individual and social
relations as “a diversified set of structural phenomena” and therefore assumes that community
has consistently existed and also will continue to exist without any kind of breakdown or
collapse (Bender, 1978; Fisher, 1977). Basically, the social network analysis had gone
beyond the traditional paradigm, which considered community as a distributed space. It seeks
to find the social structure and social process as well as the individual itself (Wellman, 1999, p.
15).
In discussing the usefulness of the social network approach, Wellman (1999) proposes
the following three advantages (pp. 17-18). First, it helps in the study of broad social
relationships regardless of type of location and structure. Second, it enables us to cover most


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