Negotiating place, technology and identity - a postmodern narrative of places to meet in a community of practice

Patricia Arnold, John D. Smith, Beverly Trayner


In this paper we use autoethnography to trace the way that community, identity and technologies contribute to our sense of place, using vignettes as data for capturing the rich ambiguity of context and the situated nature of our distributed meeting places. Through reflecting on a diverse reading of the literature and our experience we articulate that our shared community, CPsquare, is actually something that gives meaning to our everyday practice rather than being a place that manifests itself as a physical or virtual location for meeting next time. In our analysis we highlight the fluid, intersecting and emergent boundaries of community and the nesting, overlapping and changing timelines that require multiple and divergent uses of technology to designate and design that “next meeting place”. We conclude that autoethnography as a method helps us to be both insiders and outsiders in the research process and in our practice, leading us to wonder whether the fluid networked identity should be the unit of our analysis rather than community or place.


Autoethnography, Communities of Practice, Identity, Technology, Place, Space

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