Recent literature reviews highlight a gap in our understanding of how members socialize into virtual communities. Motivated by this shortcoming, we seek to understand how members socialize into open source software (OSS) communities, which are both virtual and normative in nature. Using the symbolic interactionist perspective, we define socialization and explicate the socialization process in OSS communities. Specifically, we define socialization as the extent of correspondence between the personal meanings of individual members and the shared meanings of the community, which emerge from the negotiated experiences of members. In addition, we posit that the socialization process consists of the interplay between individuals’ meaning-making process, consisting of both action and personal meaning, and the negotiated shared meanings within the community.
Devan, Jijesh and Tullio, Dany Di, "Toward a Theory of Socialization in Open Source Software Communities: A Symbolic Interactionist Perspective" (2008). AMCIS 2008 Proceedings. 41.