Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bonomo, Joe W.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of English


Websites dedicated to leisure pursuits are often used to connect with others over a shared interest. Some allow and encourage participants to engage in discussion. This project examined the ways that one crafting website, Ravelry, attempts to maintain civil discourse among its users, as opposed to the sometimes hostile and aggressive interactions found on other sites. The study looked at its discussion moderation practices as its users discussed politics and then analyzed how this related to community norms and practices of civil public discourse. Discourse analysis of words, phrases, and interactions within representative discussion threads suggest that while Ravelry’s guidelines aim to create an atmosphere of warmth and inclusion, assistance from moderators, discourse norms enacted and enforced by users, and expectations of civil behavior work in concert. The study also found that while some participants discouraged any political discussion on the site and preferred to keep it politics-free, others were aware of the historical interplay between craft, rhetoric, and politics.


46 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type


Included in

Rhetoric Commons