The co-evolution of the “social” and the “technology": a netnographic study of Social movements in virtual worlds

Brad McKenna, Lesley Gardner, Michael David Myers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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Abstract

Virtual worlds provide new forms of social interaction. They offer alternative spaces where social functions can be carried out in online three-dimensional virtual environments. One social phenomenon which has moved into the virtual world is the social movement, which are an important means of bringing out social, cultural and political changes through collective action. These social movements exist in an immersive technological ecosystem which is constantly evolving as designers release patches which change the way users “live” within these environments. Using a biography of artifacts approach, we explore not just the evolution of the technological artifact itself (the virtual world), but also its co-evolution with the social phenomena (a social movement). Using Netnography, a modified version of ethnography, and actornetwork theory, we explore a social movement in World of Warcraft, and observe how it evolves over time as changes to the virtual world are implemented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 33rd International Conference on Information Systems
PublisherAIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Pages1-12
ISBN (Print)9780615718439
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event33rd International Conference on Information Systems - Florida, Orlando, United States
Duration: 16 Dec 201219 Dec 2012

Conference

Conference33rd International Conference on Information Systems
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando
Period16/12/1219/12/12

Keywords

  • Virtual Worlds
  • Co-Evolution
  • Netnography
  • Actor-Network Theory
  • Social Movements

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