Asset-based community development in an online context: Crafting collective experience into an asset of expertise

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Samantha Close
Chiarra Lohr


This article analyses a case study for which an asset-based community development (ABCD) orientation was used to conduct community-based research (CBR). The community in question is, unusually, a digital community comprised of people who sell handmade crafts and vintage goods through digital marketplace platforms. This project, headed by a team of one academic and one community organiser, demonstrates a process by which CBR can be initiated by a community itself in order to effect change in the structural inequalities with which they are faced. To do so, we argue that community members’ expertise is a key asset, both individually and when collectivised through the research process. Involving community members in research on this basis helps change the way they look at themselves and their situation, and strengthens the bonds of this virtual community.

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Research articles (Refereed)