Civic Community: Online Communities of Practice in Parkland
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While urbanization continues apace in Western states, people are also relocating to the fringes of both the urban and rural landscape to a sort of middle ground mixture of urban, suburban and rural. This diversity expands beyond just geography to culture, income level, education level and race.. It is in these middle areas that homelessness, drugs, crime, and a need for community all exist. This study examines a little of how one community, Parkland, Washington, came to be one of these middle areas. Like many other areas similar to Parkland there has been an influx of people over the last decade and with it there has been very little help from the city or the state to address the issues that arise. There are three food banks and a traveling ministry that delivers food to those who are housebound. There is no dedicated police department or sub station, homeless shelter, resources centers, fire station or place to get resources or help. The social media of online communities of practice (OCPG) can facilitate the creation of an online civic community whose benefits extend beyond the individuals and their online group to the entirety of the geographically bound area of their group. This can increase both the breadth and depth of a civic community. This study helps contribute to our understanding of the way in which OCPGs provide connections in a physically bound community. Social cohesion and civic engagement were observed while monitoring the different online groups. The results of this are a stronger and more effective civic community. Through the observation It was also noticed that on some occasions the benefits of social cohesion and civic engagement extend beyond both the OCPGs members and the community of Parkland.
- MA in Policy Studies