Class divisions reflected in Myspace and Facebook?

A fascinating read (here)

What I lay out in this essay is rather disconcerting. Hegemonic American teens (i.e. middle/upper class, college bound teens from upwards mobile or well off families) are all on or switching to Facebook. Marginalized teens, teens from poorer or less educated backgrounds, subculturally-identified teens, and other non-hegemonic teens continue to be drawn to MySpace. A class division has emerged and it is playing out in the aesthetics, the kinds of advertising, and the policy decisions being made.


4 thoughts on “Class divisions reflected in Myspace and Facebook?

  1. I don’t know. I checked out this paper, and it seems rather lacking. Not to go all hyper-critical, but there is not one bit of quantifiable analysis in this. Makes a lot of interesting comments, but the writer gives me no reason to trust her “findings.” I guess it’s an example of ethnographic realism…?
    I’d just like to see some data to support her findings, as opposed to “I read 2,000 MySpace profiles.”

  2. What you are talking about – looking for quantifiables, are unreliable in such a venue any way. You can quantitatively “count” pages – but you tend to miss the human element that Boyd captures with her ethnographic research. She says that she has actually interviewed “90 teens in 7 states with a variety of different backgrounds and demographics.” This is far more than the average for this (I have seen many papers with fewer than 10).

    She says it herself these things are moving targets – in the time it takes to prepare a survey, administer it, and then publish findings, youth culture has moved on. The height of myspace popularity lasted what… a year?

    Aside from that, she is one of the top researchers in this field, and is presenting this as a comment/essay, as opposed to a research paper. Check out more of her stuff here –

  3. I stand by my original comment (I demand more from my commentaries, dammit!) – but I’ll check out her research papers as well.


  4. Wait, a social networking site that started with Ivy schools than opened up to other universities and colleges, and then finally to the general public six months ago is popular with people “big on education”? Shocker!

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