Serial collaboration: small world activities and the global community

McNeill, Lynne Sullivan (2009) Serial collaboration: small world activities and the global community. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This dissertation addresses a body of traditional practices that have yet to be identified and analyzed by folklorists. These practices-identified variously by participants as object-tracking games, small world activities, treasure hunts, or simply as hobbies-are herein described as instances of "serial collaboration," a phrase which encompasses the two necessary components that link the varied manifestations of this tradition to each other. Serial collaboration, a folk form that has been in existence for some time, has emerged as a newly influential expressive tradition within contemporary communications technologies. While still prevalent in non-technological forms, the current popularity of these activities on the Internet makes them ripe for examination in both their original and new contexts. This dissertation includes an introductory description of the variety of activities that make up this tradition, an analysis of the primary and secondary characteristics of this tradition for the purposes of generic identification and definition, an examination of several case studies, and a consideration of the many theoretical approaches and issues that contribute to an understanding of the role, function, and meaning of this tradition in contemporary society. Participants' reports of their activities reveal a shared perception of an ur-form, an original generic identifier that provides the basis upon which disparate manifestations are emically linked, as well as revealing a clear understanding of the shared generic features that qualify an activity for inclusion. By exploring this and other facets of the tradition, this dissertation will serve as a proposal for the recognition of serial collaboration as a discrete genre of folklore.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 8958
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 225-242)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Folklore
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Communication in folklore; Communities; Culture and globalization; Folklore and the Internet; Games; Globalization--Social aspects; Graffiti; Manners and customs; Material culture

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