Communities what is the difference?

Community of practice – from management and organisational research – is defined as a group people ”informally bound together by shared experience and passion for a joint enterprise” (Wenger & Snyder 2000). Using the whole community in work-related issues (a community can in comparison have any interest in common, here it is specifically the work, skills or professional actions that are in focus)

Community of justification – from neo pragmatism Rorty and from Habermas – I haven’t found a definition but I see it as a group that have an agreement that is expressed in the discourse and the negotiations happening forms the social interaction.

Discourse community– in linguistics but also more freely– System of social conventions. A discourse community has rules for the use of language.

The term is for example used as an analytical term by John Swales in genre analysis. “Swales presents six defining characteristics:
A discourse community:
1. has a broadly agreed set of common public goals.
2. has mechanisms of intercommunication among its members.
3. uses its participatory mechanisms primarily to provide information and feedback.
4. utilizes and hence possesses one or more genres in the communicative furtherance of its aims.
5. in addition to owning genres, it has acquired some specific lexis.
6. has a threshold level of members with a suitable degree of relevant content and discoursal expertise.”

Discourse only can be used more free for our conception of reality as expressed by discourses. We can be part of several discourses. And of course Foucault and others use discourse in a more specific way.

Epistemic culture – introduced by Knorr Cetina – “those amalgams of arrangements and mechanisms…which in a given field, make up how we know what we know” The forms of writing and communicative conventions used in different epistemic cultures will have bearing on how CMC is used. It is about how you do your work and not necessarily connected to disciplines. Knorr Cetina sets up a framework, which is characterised by:
Objects being produced – how it is constituted
Types of experiments – the way you interrogate the objects
Relations between units in a field – the social organisation (e.g. patterns of publications)

Network – Social network analysis – a network can be formed by social relationships with nodes and ties. The nodes are then the individual actors within the network which are tied together by relations.

Tribes of science – Trowler and Becher in “Academic Tribes and Territories: Intellectual Enquiry and the Cultures of Discipline” – include a theoretical frame work for different disciplinary cultures, and breaks it down in accordance with the nature of the knowledge and the disciplinary grouping. Discuss the importance of disciplinary discourse for creating the cultural identity.

Wenger, E.C., & Snyder, W.M. (2000, Jan-Feb). Communities of practice: The organizational frontier. Harvard Business Review, 139-145.

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