Problems and promises in the study of virtual communities

Susan C. Kinnevy, Guy Enosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses several methodological approaches to the study of virtual communities, including comparative designs, statistical approaches, and ethnography. In particular, we present results from one study that exemplifies both the problems and promises inherent in researching virtual communities. This study examines the daily interactions of peace activists in a virtual community devoted to nonviolent solutions to world problems. By analyzing narrative messages exchanged over a four-month period categorically in terms of topic, type, scope, and content, the study explores community design issues of gatekeeping and normative standards in a virtual community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-134
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Technology in Human Services
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 2002


  • Community design
  • Ethnography
  • Peace activism
  • Research methods
  • Virtual communities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Computer Networks and Communications


Dive into the research topics of 'Problems and promises in the study of virtual communities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this