Sociologie Românească (Romanian Sociology), Vol. XIII, no. 1/2015, pp. 86-94.
Şase tipuri de conflict într-o comunitate virtuală
Six Types of Conflict in a Virtual Community
Abstract: New parents are typically concerned about the well-being of their children. As a result, parents seek to inform themselves about the best choices they can make in terms of diet – including but not limited to age and type of weaning –, skin care products, toys, parenting style, healthcare, education and other kinds of services addressed to children and families. This is true especially for parents with higher formal education and the habit of questioning and researching topics that interest them. As they look for information online, they build virtual communities or join established ones. This is a virtual ethnographic research of a virtual community of parents, mainly mothers, brought together by principles of natural parenting and healthy living. The research involved analyzing blogs, forums and discussions on Facebook groups, as well as the social network analysis of the network of Facebook pages belonging to the community. The main focus of the research is the impact conflict has on community social capital, as conflict has been fairly neglected in the study of virtual communities. I identified six types of conflict and analyzed their implications for the social capital of the community in terms of trust, types of relationships – bridging vs. bonding –, and social networks. The main finding is that a smaller, rather exclusive virtual community develops features very similar to closed small local communities when it comes to managing internal conflict.
Keywords: social capital; conflict; social networks; virtual community; parenting.
Cuvinte-cheie: capital social; conflict; reţele sociale; comunitate virtuală; parenting.