Through what social processes are new communities created around events? And how are these communities sustained?
Events play an increasingly big role in our society. Whereas events were mainly considered entertainment in the past, the social function of events is becoming more and more apparent, in particular, in the field of social bonding and in creating a feeling of solidarity.
During an event, visitors identify with a theme or topic, and interact with each other about it. Thanks to social media, they can continue these interactions online, which leads to a hybrid network of individuals sharing the same interests. Eventually, this may lead to forming new communities, who communicate with each other both online and offline. However, it is not clear yet how exactly these new communities are being created.
This PhD research studies the online and offline interaction rituals of various events and online communities. Through interviews and participating observations at events such as Redhead Days and the Elfia fantasy event, processes are mapped out that result in forming communities at and around events.