BookTubers as a Networked Knowledge Community

BookTubers as a Networked Knowledge Community

Karen Sorensen (University of Montana, USA) and Andrew Mara (North Dakota State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4757-2.ch004
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In order to understand the relationship between Networked Knowledge Communities (NKCs) and the Networked Knowledge Society (NKS), the chapter authors conduct a genre analysis of a self-titled New Media genre called BookTube. BookTube is a NKC made up of YouTube content creators who use this particular social media channel to celebrate and discuss books, especially young-adult fiction. By examining how BookTube adheres to discourse community features—shared rules, genres, hierarchies, and values—the contours of this particular NKC become clearer. Stylistic patterns, the roles of authors, and author cultural capital all get negotiated within a discernible and definable set of practices that relate participants to other NKCs and the broader NKS. Furthermore, by relating these discourse features to other latent educational possibilities of the NKS, the authors explore how BookTube might be usefully implemented to model NKC practices in more traditional f2f educational settings.
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In order to discuss the conceptual framework between Networked Knowledge Communities (NKCs) and a Networked Knowledge Society (NKS), analysts must establish both the dynamic differences between communities and society and the relationship that communities have within a larger social arrangement. Marohang Limbu, in his article “Teaching Writing in the Cloud: Networked Writing Communities in the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms” links community to associations that students already make within and without the classroom—links that can be cemented and acted upon through the use of cloud computing and commercial data aggregators like Facebook. In this article, Limbu establishes two important functions of communities, who both establish roles for members and define those members in relationship with one another (p. 15). Though the definition of community remains somewhat vague in Limbu’s article, the more extensive discussions of community in writing studies, especially discourse community theory, can shed some light on what might count as community over communications networks.

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