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The modern coterie: Fan fiction writers as a community of practice

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Title: The modern coterie: Fan fiction writers as a community of practice
Author(s): Rebaza, Claudia M.
Director of Research: Haythornthwaite, Caroline A.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Haythornthwaite, Caroline A.
Doctoral Committee Member(s): Bruce, Bertram C.; Kendall, Lori; Nakamura, Lisa
Department / Program: Library & Information Science
Discipline: Library & Information Science
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Fan fiction Communities of Practice digital practices digital reading Digital media - Community informatics women and literature women's speech community media Online community of practice Digital storytelling digital publishing Writing -- History Writing process Online communities online discourse online reading technology adoption Computer-mediated communication (CMC) social informatics
Abstract: Female coterie writing groups have had certain characteristics in common across centuries that can be seen today in fan fiction writing groups online. This dissertation focuses on one group of such writers who are active at the LiveJournal blog site. Through the use of virtual ethnography, data has been collected over a period of four years for the purpose of exploring the concept of an online coterie community. The data is examined by using the Community of Practice framework to identify the ways in which group practices and the use of online technological platforms are both maintained and evolving. The author argues that the exploration of coteries in previous studies has focused largely on external factors shaping the group, and has left unexplored the influence of technological choices and the learning framework within which coteries function. While there have been close textual analyses of the writing created within coteries, an equally close examination of other aspects, such as the practices surrounding creation and maintenance of the group, and the alignment and non-alignment of individuals in regards to these practices, have not been the subject of equal historical focus. The dissertation identifies several aspects of fan fiction writing coteries that are in transition, including their practice of gift exchange, and their concept of a safe space. This dissertation adds to the understanding of CoP operations in online leisure communities and demonstrates that the historical custom of female writing coteries has a current virtual (and vibrant) presence. It also offers a case study in the reflexive interaction of technology and practice on a widely used Internet platform with an emphasis on women's use of technology. This dissertation also contributes to the literature of fan studies and the conceptualizations of fans.
Issue Date: 2009
Genre: Dissertation / Thesis
Type: Text
Language: English
Rights Information: Copyright 2009 Claudia M. Rebaza
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-02-16

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