Online Community Field Report Instructions

Online Community Field Report Instructions


From Small to Lysloff to Attali to Burkart, the concept of "community" has been central to or suggested in many of the readings we have encountered in regards to musical culture. Yet, the notion of "virtual community" is a contested concept within the social sciences. Frequently, when online social spaces are granted the label of "community" by sociologists, they are justified with qualifiers, such as "communities of practice" or "communities of affinity." Still others argue that Internet communities, with all the rights and privileges associated with the concept, indeed exist and are sustainable forms of sociality in the 21st century.

Your mini ethnography is a case study in reflection of the notion of musical communities on the Internet.


Investigate a musical-oriented website or other cyberplace that arguably constitutes a "community."

Write a brief (600-1000 words) ethnographic account of the community. Your ethnography should be largely descriptive, but should clearly articulate aspects of the examined culture that point toward the ideals of community. In doing so, you should draw upon concepts introduced by readings from the class, applied to your research experience.


You will read/present your ethnography in class and post it as a PDF document to the Online Communities assignment page.

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