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he purpose of this paper is to analyze the relational dynamics and the organizational practices of one of the most important Italian Fansubbing Communities: ItalianSubsAddicted.
The research adopts a Case Study Methodology based on a Mixed Method approach, that is combining qualitative and quantitative techniques in data collection and analysis. Specifically, analysis was conducted through content analysis of official documents about the Community, in-depth interviews to 15 Community members, netnography for the analysis of the Community forum. Despite its voluntary and non-profit nature, the Community relies on a well-defined organization chart, where each individual is allocated with specific tasks, roles and responsibilities. This structure is effective for the Community and it is also supported by a strict initial selection and specific assessments regulating the transition from one level to another in the hierarchy. However, the binding force of the Community is the passion. In fact, data analysis puts in evidence the centrality of passion: the members of the Community, named fansubbers, work very hard and they are sustained by their great passions towards TV-Series, films, and media products in general. They love so much media products that they want all the other people to be allowed to know and enjoy them in the best possible way. In fact, one of the most important fansubbers’goal is to preserve the media product in its original form, avoiding the cross-cultural contamination biases which often occur with the official dubbing. Furthermore, fansubbers like the idea of being part of a “real” virtual Community, i.e. a group which interacts also outside the cyber space as well. Fansubbing is not only a social activity: it develops an in-depth knowledge of foreign language and culture (mainly, the Anglo Saxon one), and it favors the development of interpersonal skills, like collaborative problem solving and conflict management skills. In conclusion, Fansubbing could be considered one of the best example of collective intelligence in practice, but also an effective field of professionalization and skills acquisition; in fact, data results show also that Fansubbing make the Community members to be more competitive on the labor market