A term introduced by Fish to refer to both writers and readers of particular genres of texts (but which can be used more widely to refer to those who share any code). Kuhn used the term ‘textual community’ to refer to epistemological communities with shared texts, interpretations, and beliefs. Constructivists argue that interpretive communities are involved in the construction and maintenance of reality within the ontological domain which defines their concerns (see discourse). The conventions within the codes employed by such communities become naturalized amongst its members. Individuals belong simultaneously to several interpretive communities. Compare epistemic community; imagined community; virtual community.
Subjects: Media Studies.