Monday, June 25, 2007

Danah Boyd on the Social Networking Class Divide

myspacebook

From the Annals of the Ever-Expanding Universe of Danah Boyd1 comes an article from the BBC:
Social sites reveal class divide

Fans of MySpace and Facebook are divided by much more than which music they like, suggests a study.

A six-month research project has revealed a sharp division along class lines among the American teenagers flocking to the social network sites.

The research suggests those using Facebook come from wealthier homes and are more likely to attend college.

By contrast, MySpace users tend to get a job after finishing high school rather than continue their education.

. . .

Broadly, Ms Boyd found Facebook users tend to be white and come from families who are keen for children to get the most out of school and go on to college.

Characterising Facebook users she said: "They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities."

By contrast, the average MySpace teenager tends to come from families where parents did not go to college, she said.

Ms Boyd also found far more teens from immigrant, Latino and Hispanic families on MySpace as well as many others who are not part of the "dominant high school popularity paradigm".

"MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracised at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers," she said.

Teenage users of both sites have very strong opinions about the social network they do not use, she noted.

. . .

..."This division is just another way in which technology is mirroring societal values."
via The Null Device

Footnote

1 522,000 hits and counting

See also:

viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace

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