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Creating Community over the Net

Title: Creating Community over the Net: A Case Study of Romanian Online Journalism.
Name(s): Nocasian, Mihaela V., author
Young, Marilyn J., professor directing dissertation
Burnett, Gary, outside committee member
Houck, Davis, committee member
Opel, Andrew, committee member
McDowell, Stephen D., committee member
School of Communication, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2005
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This dissertation is a rhetorical examination of a virtual community that has developed around Formula As—a Romanian print and Web based publication that over the course of fourteen years has built a readership of eight million despite the unstable Romanian transition media environment. The purpose of this study is to help understand the manner in which the Formula As magazine brings together a geographically fragmented public into a community and explore the role of storytelling in the rhetorical construction of this community. The dissertation employs an eclectic theoretical perspective and a rhetorical-based methodology. This study's theoretical framework brings together concepts from different areas of inquiry such as virtual community and computer-mediated communication, public sphere, interactive journalism, and hermeneutics. Fisher's narrative paradigm serves as the interpretive lens that is used in this study to gain insight into the dynamic of building community among the readers of the Formula As magazine. To uncover the distinctiveness of the Formula As community, this study proposes a virtual community conceptual model containing six conditions—community self-refernce, common interests and goals, membership boundaries, shared history, common discursive space, and interactivity. One of the major findings of this study is that at a very basic level, virtual communities are quite similar. The Formula As readers are brought together in an imagined community that has social reality for them. The shared Romanian cultural memory, flexible group boundaries, and the exchange of naturistic remedies information and cooperation in humanitarian work enable Formula As participants to develop a history together. At a fundamental level, the Formula As community members sustain connections and imagine themselves and others as constituting a community through the shared practices of interpreting the community texts and making public participants' stories of involvement with the magazine's community. From a rhetorical perspective, this study revealed that in the Formula As community, storytelling provides participants with a safe avenue for disclosing sensitive personal information while the discursive space of the magazine becomes the locus for shaping public opinion on a series of specific social issues.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-2580 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Communication in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Fall Semester, 2005.
Date of Defense: August 25, 2005.
Keywords: Online Journalism, Paul Ricoeur, Hermeneutics, Narrative, Storytelling, Computer-mediated Communication, Romanian Media, Online Cooperation, Imagined Communities, Sociomental Network, Formula As, Online Community, Virtual Community, Internet, Rhetoric
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Marilyn J. Young, Professor Directing Dissertation; Gary Burnett, Outside Committee Member; Davis Houck, Committee Member; Andrew Opel, Committee Member; Stephen D. McDowell, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Nocasian, M. V. (2005). Creating Community over the Net: A Case Study of Romanian Online Journalism. Retrieved from