SENSE OF BELONGING AND CONNECTEDNESS IN THE ONLINE ESPERANTO COMMUNITIES

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SENSE OF BELONGING AND CONNECTEDNESS IN THE ONLINE ESPERANTO COMMUNITIES

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title SENSE OF BELONGING AND CONNECTEDNESS IN THE ONLINE ESPERANTO COMMUNITIES
Author Iliyana, Parashkevova
Date 2018
English abstract
The thesis is focused on researching the recent phenomena of the emerging virtual Esperanto communities. The aim is to understand how feeling of belonging and connectedness are generated online. The theoretical framework that the study follows is Sense of Community theory by McMillan and Chavis (1986). It presents 4 components that combined together create a strong bond within a community – membership, influence, shared emotional value, and reinforcement of needs, later revised to spirit, trust, art and trade respectively. This particular theory helped significantly structure the way the analysis was carried out. The main results from the qualitative and quantitative data are that the sense of connectedness the respondents demonstrated to the Esperanto communities was strong. The interview participants have been members for more than 10 years, and have indicated they believed they shared similar values and needs with their co-members, but most strong ones with the groups they shared other interests except Esperanto. The Internet, as all interview participants confirmed, has played a huge role for the development of the Esperanto language and culture and currently connects thousands of Esperantists worldwide and provides them with a space to be producers of their media, Esperanto. Furthermore, some statements demonstrated that not speaking the language results in excluding people from the group, excluding also new members who used auxiliary languages (e.g. English or German) along with Esperanto, to help their communication at Esperanto gatherings. Finally, there were also found signs of segregation among an older generation of Esperantists, who made division between Esperanto speakers and non-speakers and between the different Esperanto institutions.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 66
Language eng (iso)
Subject sense of belonging, connectedness, online communities, fandom
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/32691 Permalink to this page
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA (n/a for student publ.)
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