Community Building

Sharing stories brings people closer together. Sharing personal experiences with others helps to build a relationship between two or more people. Communities and groups have a shared bond of discussing their thoughts and feelings with each other. By telling stories the listener begins to internalize the story, trying to find a way to connect the story to one’s own life experiences. By sharing stories, people begin to see shared experiences. This helps others who have been in similar experiences to also share their stories and become more involved. They begin to reflect on their experiences, modify their behavior, treat others with greater compassion, speak out about injustice, and become involved in civic and political life. Common goals and common experiences bring people and communities closer and share a similar reality. Storytellers can also share issues they are struggling with to those who have similar values.

Community building can also mean mentoring others. People who share their stories with others create a bond. These bonds can form friendships and mentorships. The community can become a mentoring society which helps people talk and express their feelings and share their stories. This creates a conversation between members of the community about common concerns. This means that digital storytelling can be used as a tool for community health reform and a strengthened sense of community of the individual.

For more information on this topic please see:

Digital Storytelling Manual: http://dsi.kqed.org/index.php/workshops/about/C66/

Haven, Kendall F. Story Proof: the Science behind the Startling Power of Story. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2007.

Fields, Anne M., and Karen R. Díaz. Fostering Community through Digital Storytelling: a Guide for Academic Libraries. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited, 2008.

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