Conflict, Gender and Identity in Online Communities
In this paper, I look at how conflict within a community can function as a social device for identity-building. In particular, I look at a conflict that took place in late 2003 in the online public sector community of practice, ACT-KM . Shawn Callahan has described the evolution of ACT-KM in general terms. I compare the 2003 conflict discussion with a couple of other systematic online community conflict studies (there are not many). The analysis raises some interesting questions about the role of gender in influencing online behaviours, the role of conflict in community-building, and a community’s ability to self-moderate.