The Role of Social Media in Collective Processes of Place Making: A Study of Two Neighborhood Blogs in Amsterdam
City and Community , Volume 17 - Issue 3 p. 906- 924
The wide use of social media has facilitated new social practices that influence place meaning. This paper uses a double case study of two neighborhood blogs in gentrifying communities, to explore the role of social media in sharing place associations and community formation. Drawing on Collins’ theory of interaction ritual chains, this research project investigates how the intertwining of online and offline interaction around the blogs creates interaction chains whereby the place associations of participants in the blog become more aligned, creating an alternative place narrative. Analyses of the dynamics of involvement with the blogs show how social interactions spurred by the blogs generate emotional energy, group solidarity, feelings of morality, meaningful symbols, and feelings of place attachment among the participants. This article illuminates how the emerging process of place (re)making spurred by interaction with the blog emerges from both everyday unplanned behavior and strategic aims of the actors.