Writing Interlude: Approaching “community”

The big writing roadblock, lately, has been understanding just what “community” is, and how it functions for the folks in my data set. Is it a social space? Is it an entity on its own? If you can “belong” to it, does that mean it functions like a collective membership category? If so, what are the features that constitute it? Can one be assigned community membership if they don’t claim it (even though they have the necessary credentials to incumbency)?

So I decided to data-dive and pull up every appearance of the term. Thus, a (brief) list of how community is used (in paraphrases):

  • “represent the trans community”
  • “new to the community”
  • “trans community” = “such a small community”
  • “big on loving the LGBT communtiy”
  • “community space”
  • internet community =/= a/the larger community?
  • community = group of people?
  • community can be supported
  • community can be too big
  • community lacks meaning
  • community can offer support
  • community = simultaneously singular and plural
  • community is not just vloggers, but commenters too
  • community provides something to those who join/seek it out
  • community means coming together
  • community can be let down
  • community membership has prerequisites
  • community can also be a resource
  • community is something one can be accountable to

If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to stare at this list for the next hour.

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