Participating or not participating? A sociomaterial perspective of the embeddedness of online communities in everyday life

Geri Harris, Babak Abedin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Online communities are increasingly becoming a venue for socializing, engaging in politics, and conducting business. Ironically, the same enabling social–media technology is encroaching into everyday life and reconfiguring relations of participation. Yet, while participation in online communities has been widely studied empirically, theoretical aspects of this social phenomenon need further investigation. This paper uses a sociomaterial perspective to further develop theoretical explanation of participation in online communities and the impacts of not participating online. A sociomaterial view of online community participation decenters the human participant and recognises the agency of technology, thus creating a richer understanding than epistemological paradigms. Using converging hermeneutic circles, the paper first reviews literature for evidence of sociomaterial applications to online community research, and then proposes a framework for expressing participation in online communities from a sociomaterial perspective. Subsequently, implications of the findings and the potential for future studies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACIS 2015 Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 26th Australasian Conference on Information Systems
EditorsFrada Burstein, Helana Scheepers, Gaye Deegan
Place of PublicationAdelaide, SA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9780646953373
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event26th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, ACIS 2015 - Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 30 Nov 20154 Dec 2015


Conference26th Australasian Conference on Information Systems, ACIS 2015

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2015 authors. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Nonparticipation
  • Online community
  • Participation
  • Social Media
  • Sociomateriality


Dive into the research topics of 'Participating or not participating? A sociomaterial perspective of the embeddedness of online communities in everyday life'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this