Web 2.0 and social class

Taking a slight diversion from the regular work theme results in the mentioning of an article on the BBC News website about social networking sites (e.g. MySpace and Facebook).

The article - Social sites reveal class divide - reports on the research of Danah Boyd who is a PhD student at the School of Information Sciences at UC Berkeley.

The findings of the research are: '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.'

I've not had chance to look at her research yet, however, it sounds like an interesting contribution to the emerging debate that surrounds the alleged liberating effects of new communication (Web 2.0) technology.

Boyd's research paper can be accessed here - many more research articles by Boyd can be found here as well.

1 comment:

david said...

It's an interesting, if very sensible finding.

Essentially because Facebook had been closed to all but university student until about a year ago, it's not surprising that Boyd found that most people that were on it went to university or plan to. After all, most social networking sites grow because people have friends who are on them. And it's likely that people are more likely to go to university if they have friend who already do.