Offer, wanted, taken: Laramie Freecycle and the redefinition of everyday meanings of citizenship
This thesis discusses Laramie Freecycle and how it redefines the everyday meanings of (American) citizenship. Laramie Freecycle is an online community in which members can offer or receive objects for free. In this study, Laramie Freecycle is examined as a single online community based in Laramie, Wyoming and as part of The Freecycle Network (the “global” Freecycle group) by using online and offline ethnography.
In this thesis, I argue that by complicating the meaning of space (local-global, physical-virtual) and objects, Laramie Freecycle forms alternative agencies that try to push forward the individual interests into community participation. Freecycle redefines the way citizenship is practiced in daily lives by giving the individuals the agency to reshape the boundaries between public and private selves, while showing that the boundaries themselves are continually contested and redefined from within and outside the group, thus creating the “in-betweens” (inter-est) of private and public pursuits.
0646: Web Studies
0708: Mass communications