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American Class Divisions Through Facebook and MySpace

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the something-to-think-about dept.

The Internet 373

Jamie found this paper earlier about American Class Divisions and Facebook and MySpace. The paper talks about the history of the two sites, what groups tend to use what site. They also talk about what proponents of each site think of the other. It's actually an interesting read and worth your time.

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Care2 (0, Offtopic)

duerra (684053) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636077)

As my signature would indicate, I actually prefer Care2 [care2.com] over MySpace and Facebook. Care2 is a social networking site that caters to socially aware causes and who's users actually want to try and make some sort of impact in the world. Even at 7 million members, it's amazing to me how few of my type (the geeks) are aware of the site. Neither MySpace or Facebook really have much "purpose" to them (well, MySpace users may claim that it caters to bands, but the connection to me is pretty shallow). Facebook doesn't really have any "purpose" either. Not that there's anything wrong with that - just that I figure if I'm going to be part of a social network, why not be part of the one that aims for something respectable?

Re:Care2 (5, Insightful)

Gothic_Walrus (692125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636149)

Neither MySpace or Facebook really have much "purpose" to them (well, MySpace users may claim that it caters to bands, but the connection to me is pretty shallow). Facebook doesn't really have any "purpose" either.

They've got plenty of purpose when you're young and virtually all of your friends use the sites along with you, which I'd imagine is what matters most to most users.

Re:Care2 (1)

MartinG (52587) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636473)

They've got plenty of purpose when you're young and virtually all of your friends use the sites along with you

I half agree, but what's the relevence of the age bit? I'm not as young as most facebook users (33) but many of my friends use it which is what makes it useful to me.

Purpose? (not a troll, I'm serious) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636623)

"They've got plenty of purpose..."

I've yet to see this so-called purpose defined, outside of some abstract "all my friends use it" comment. Use it for what? Out of all the "friends" I've had that have pointed me to their myspace, etc. page, none of them have had a defined "purpose". The one's I've visited have left me with a who-cares attitude (and a vague deja-vu experience relating to geocities hosted websites from the 90s).

Re:Care2 (2, Interesting)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636643)

The only thing I've found myspace good for is running into old high school friends. When I moved out of town, I lost touch with tons of people, but I was able to find them again through other friends down the line. Aside from that, it's a breeding ground for pedofiles.

Social networking sites (3, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636167)

Formalise "The old boy network" [wikipedia.org] . The purpose is to use contacts to improve employment and earning prospects.

 

Re:Social networking sites (4, Funny)

bubbl07 (777082) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636821)

... NAMBLA [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Social networking sites (3, Funny)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636875)

I think that might actually fall under the "young boy network"...

Re:Care2 (5, Insightful)

Techguy666 (759128) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636491)

Neither MySpace or Facebook really have much "purpose" to them (well, MySpace users may claim that it caters to bands, but the connection to me is pretty shallow). Facebook doesn't really have any "purpose" either.


Facebook really does have a purpose and that's probably what TFA was driving at without realizing. Facebook is really for college friends (and high school friends) to "hang out" online. It's the social networking of friends and peers and your friends' and peers' friends and peers - people of similar mindedness. Myspace is the bar-scene of the web; you go there to meet anyone and everyone, people sincerely looking for friends and pick-up artists alike.

TFA seems to think there's a socio-economic divide between Facebook and Myspace and there probably is. But not because poorer, less educated people all decided, hey, let's all hang out on Myspace. Think about your high school experiences. If you don't have friends you liked from high school, you're less likely to use Facebook. If you have high school or college buds that you hang out with exclusively, Facebook is all you need, with the added bonus of seeing the ideas of your friends' friends. Compounding this is the initial seeding of Facebook. If you never went to university or college, the likelihood of you using Facebook plummeted because they originally required you to have an e-mail address at that organization!

The original article was interesting but probably read a little too much into the organization of socio-economic and educational differences and probably didn't look sufficiently at the "why" or purpose of the SNSes, which is probably more benign than some plot by the Man to hold us down as was hinted.

As for Care2, it does look interesting and I may sign up. If I'm feeling particularly sociable, I may troll the "bar" that is Myspace; if I just want to hang out with friends, you'll find me on the "pub" that is Facebook; Care2 sounds kinda neat, like when my friends and I want to do activities together, Care2 may be the online "soupkitchen".

Re:Care2 (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636581)

Sure there's a purpose on myspace. That purpose is for artists, bands, producers, labels, comedians, hollywood movies, politics, religion, venues, swag, tshirts, posters, flyers, recording studios, models and the public to all interact. Is the interface bad on myspace? (wait that wasn't the question) It's not a bad interfaces, the problem is the confusion with how to post normal code that even the experienced are used to; to a page design that's already filtered, and laid out for ya. The top end of that fight, I would say is doing a full on flash site. Like say ..http://myspace.com/century . But then the problem next becomes how to add friends to make it work. Instead of having top "40 friends" they should have how ever many top friends, and instead of having to ADD a friend, all friends should be already added. Good luck to a new user adding friends at 300-400 a day. If all the friends were already added, sorted alpha numerically then you could actually search for the friends you wanted to promote. I won't say nothing about the bulletins. It's pretty heavy on bandwidth I think. Although I wouldn't say it caters to bands, it does have bands that publish their music, and you don't need to muck around trying to hear what they sound like, and what their website is, when they play, and sometimes what they look like before ya get there, that can save your ass. Myspace needs a weird code.. type the name of the band [band:gwar] and get http://www.gwar.net/index.php [gwar.net] [comedian:Steve Hofstetter] http://www.myspace.com/comedy [myspace.com] Everyone has an address. So a simple matter. The friends list. Should be Friends Search Engine (Since your putting up your to 10, 20, 30, 40, 500, 6000 friends.) Comeon Tom

Re:Care2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636653)

Wow. I'm wondering when making friends became something less than respectable.

Re:Care2 (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636705)

Ain't more like we are already friends since we're both already members? I am just sayin...

No purpose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636779)

Saying Facebook/MySpace have no purpose is kinda like saying e-mail has no purpose. You could similarly argue that the postal system or the telephone system has no purpose.

I'm not so quick to agree that Care2 is automatically respectable just because it links to a bunch of political stories and has petitions and fundraisers. A MySpace user can still contribute to the world by giving blood, recycling, participating in local events. A lot of people do these things, and they don't need to write about it on the web. They deserve as much respect as anybody on Care2.

Buy APPL NOW - sell and make a FAST 10% in days (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636127)



Buy APPL NOW - sell and make a FAST 10% or MORE in days. you wait you lose !!

Amusing, yet not suprising (0, Redundant)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636131)

For all of 2005 and most of 2006, MySpace was the cool thing for high school teens and Facebook was the cool thing for college students. This is not to say that MySpace was solely high school or Facebook solely college, but there was a dominating age division that played out in the cultural sphere.
Ok, so this equates to the rule that little kids think older kids are automatically cool. Not worth reading the whole paper imho. Nothing new here.

Re:Amusing, yet not suprising (1, Redundant)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636171)

There is nothing new there, just not what you thought you read.

It's the Preps vs the Freaks & Geeks. It's an age old war fought in every school across America for the last 50 years. There are the cool kids, the wanna-be cool kids, the geeks/nerds/av club folks, and the freaks/stoners.

The Cool Kids took over Face book due to its invite only nature, etc. Myspace hung out with the freaks & geeks...

Re:Amusing, yet not suprising (3, Insightful)

GammaKitsune (826576) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636497)

Jocks and Princesses go to Facebook. Criminals and Basketcases go to MySpace. Brains go meh.

On a serious note, though, as one of the more flagrantly uncool kids in high school, I've still noticed that the majority of my uncool friends have gone on to college and are now on Facebook. I joined up mostly because everyone else was, and I didn't want to get bugged about it later on down the road. I don't use Facebook all that much, and I've never used MySpace.

Re:Amusing, yet not suprising (1)

myspace-cn (1094627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636767)

Is that like the NSA goes to Facebook, and the CIA goes to MySpace? In hindsight, some aspects of yahoo/geocities/sbc has a better interface, where you can put your code, and where you can upload it exactly to.

Re:Amusing, yet not suprising (1)

Smight (1099639) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636321)

I think it has more to do with the fact that until September 11, 2006 facebook was only open to colleges and members of corporations.
 
I don't think anyone is suprised that parents that went to college usually are more successful at getting their kids to go to college.

Thank goodness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636137)

If it wasn't for Taco I wouldn't know what was worth my time and what wasn't

lets see if I can sum this up without even RTFA (4, Insightful)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636143)

College educated people tend toward Facebook since up until recently it barred people who didnt have a major corporate job, or where in higher ed right?

And Myspace contained all the rest right?

That wasn't too hard was it.

Gigantic black penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636189)

In your butt. [goatse.cz]

The Lone Troller

Re:lets see if I can sum this up without even RTFA (4, Insightful)

galorin (837773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636211)

I tried to RTFA, it reads like a High School student's English essay. I want my ten minutes back.

Re:lets see if I can sum this up without even RTFA (4, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636287)


I quit reading when she used the slang "kinda"

Re:lets see if I can sum this up without even RTFA (5, Funny)

WaZiX (766733) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636745)

yeah, that article is like soooo Myspace.

Re:lets see if I can sum this up without even RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636425)

Lets see which one goes the friendster way

Denis The SQL Menace
http://sqlservercode.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

Re:lets see if I can sum this up without even RTFA (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636857)

I'm college educated, for what that is worth (nothing) and I want them both to drop off the face of the planet. Facebook spams me directly (I opted out, and still get mail) and MySpace seems to predominantly be a means for facilitating spamming. I signed up for both, and now use neither. (It would be nice, too, if MySpace could remember that I was logged in. But it can't.)

Help from sociologists? (3, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636145)

I don't quite agree with the premise of class divisions through web sites. The difference between signing up for either is whose registration forms one uses. Socio-economic class divisions are most certainly harder to jump across than just using a web site. And, on the internet, what's to stop someone from being a member of both Myspace and Facebook?

IANAS (I Am Not A Sociologist), but I think the might mean cultural divisions. Posts to, say, /. differ from Something Awful which differ from Newgrounds which differ from Myspace and so on and so on.

Is it because the community that forms around the site, which was ultimately created targeted at a demographic?

Re:Help from sociologists? (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636237)

I don't use either much - though I do have accounts on both - but I think until not that long ago, getting on facebook required an email address from a school that they included - so there were things stopping people from being on both. I think, though I may be wrong, in the beginning it was impossible to have a facebook account without being a college student.

Re:Help from sociologists? (4, Interesting)

plover (150551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636531)

The paper wasn't saying that the web sites are the sole determiner of class, or that the sites were being used to somehow "navigate" class (hey, if I sign up for Facebook I am suddenly a member of the Millionaire's Club!), only that class distinctions are becoming apparent based on samples of each site.

I think the distinctions the paper's author has noted are simply reflections of class that are held by the participants. The separations are much deeper than a simple web site. As a comedian recently noted with respect to Brittney Spears, "you can take the trash out of the trailer park, but you can't take the trailer park out of the trash."

I would be much more interested if the paper's author found people who successfully used social networking sites to actually "change classes". Can you climb the ladder of success by ingratiating yourself with your hegemons, or will you always be snubbed as an "upstart"?

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636147)

Most Myspace users are illiterate and lower class.

Most Facebook users are educated and middle class.

heh (5, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636157)

I was just telling my sister yesterday: "Facebook is Myspace for people who actually graduated high school."

Division By 0 Overflow on Social Networking Sites (0, Flamebait)

mazanoid (1114617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636169)

I'm not so sure if there's truly a class divide between myspace and facebook users. Myspace currently has many more addons/features/pimpmy*.com sites to make for some horribly UGLY profiles, whereas facebook is still adding support for stuff to clutter it up.

However, I do believe there is a definitive divide between the Myspace crowd and the slashdot crowd. We have options to html or plaintext and tend to know the difference.
in short, myspace looks like:

Facebook looks like

and slashdot looks like:
my.modded.pc.naked.jpg (a text link describing the computer with the case off)

mod me +5 isux

Re:Division By 0 Overflow on Social Networking Sit (2, Insightful)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636445)

Uhm? I don't understand. Did you use html-tags to illustrate something, because in that case (for someone that is part of the slashdot crowd and knows the difference between html and plaintext), you should use html entities. No, really, they are very nifty to actually display greater than and lower than signs. Try this the following time &gt; for >, and &lt; for <

And as for the "modded naked PC", there is weird [gizmodo.com] stuff [engadget.com] out there [cside.com] ...

Spelling and Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636173)

The spelling and grammar in the paper is very poor. I can't take any of the fact finding seriously when the spelling and grammar is that bad.

Re:Spelling and Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636345)


Maybe they are a myspace user?

Serious Scientific Article? (4, Insightful)

EricWright (16803) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636179)

If the author wants anyone to take her work seriously, she REALLY needs to avoid sentences like "It's so not that easy."

After reading that nugget, my interest in the topic waned almost instantly.

Re:Serious Scientific Article? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636259)

I'm thinking she has spent so much time reading Myspace that it damaged her mind.

Re:Serious Scientific Article? (2, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636509)

So presentation matters to you more than content?

Re:Serious Scientific Article? (5, Insightful)

EricWright (16803) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636657)

In a serious scientific discussion, yes.

* Dude, like Facebook is waaay more bitchin' than Myspace if ur in college
* Among popular social networking sites, Facebook is far more accepted by college students than Myspace

They both make the same point, right? Which do you think might have a chance of getting serious attention from the scientific community? Which do you think has a chance of getting published in a respected journal? Which one sounds like serious research?

I don't care how insightful somebody's work may be. If it is too painful to read, it isn't worth it. Come back when you can present your ideas in a coherent, professional manner.

Re:Serious Scientific Article? (1)

theelectron (973857) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636763)

They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities.
One of these does not belong, which one is it? Seriously, they say one thing, then turn around and say the opposite as well just so they don't offend anyone, without citing any actual research other than their anecdotal experience. What content?

Re:Serious Scientific Article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636777)

Well gee a Phd from "iSchool", wtf, does it come in blue?

Interesting way of looking at it, but wrong.. (5, Interesting)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636191)

"She (Nalini Kotamraju) argues that class divisions in the United States have more to do with lifestyle and social stratification than with income. In other words, all of my anti-capitalist college friends who work in cafes and read Engels are not working class just because they make $14K a year and have no benefits. Class divisions in the United States have more to do with social networks (the real ones, not FB/MS), social capital, cultural capital, and attitudes than income." -- There is something to this where people decide to put their income and in what circles they run effect greatly their perceived class. This is not just a matter of being frugal but a matter of using money as a tool and the difference between how you use that tool. I have friends who make 50K who own a boat, two cars, a motorcycle, and their home. They are also constantly in trouble with their debt. If one did not know them and looked at them they would see upper middle class family. even though they are on the cusp of losing everything. I have another set of friends who make less than 20K who rent an appt but have been steadily building assets and paying off student debt, one looking from the outside would see them as being impoverished but in reality they are living sustainability have a ton of time together and live a very rich life (though no boat). When a scientist, especially a social scientist, trys to say this is what class is they are going to be wrong (just as I would be wrong) because being a mamber of a class can relate to any aspect of our being. I am a white male (that puts me in a class), I make $Salary that puts me in a class, I own a home, I am in a mixed race relationship, I have two kids, I take the bus to work, I'm 30, ... All of these things put me in a box and some of those boxes conflict with others...

Re:Interesting way of looking at it, but wrong.. (1)

phoenix.bam! (642635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636439)

Are you saying a classification system doesn't have rigidly defined borders that never intersect?

This guys analysis sounds like every Venn diagram I've ever seen. Although you seem to be implying if a Venn diagram has an overlap it must not be true.

HOARsju

Re:Interesting way of looking at it, but wrong.. (1)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636575)

Are you saying a classification system doesn't have rigidly defined borders that never intersect?

No, Im saying when talking about a complicated social system like, for example, the US any classification system which is designed will crumble under thoughtful analysis or it will ebe so specific as to be useless. Classification in and of itself works eg: this is a noble gas because it meets the criteria, but when you try to do that to people you get a broke or uselss system.

Re:Interesting way of looking at it, but wrong.. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636457)

Dude this is america.

If you drive a BMW and live in an exclusive neighborhood - you are rich.

If you drive a sensible car and live in sane housing you are poor.

The guy in the BMW is in debt up to his eyeballs and if him or his wife lose their jobs they will be forclosed on in moments. Some will lose their house if they lose their overtime.

The guy that drives a car that does the job for him and lives in a place that is safe, nice and meets needs can afford to lose 1/2 the household income and has almost no debt (Under $12,000 unsecured and not mortgage)

America standas for looking like you are rich, sanity stands for being debt free and not being incredibly retarted spending money on things like diamonds for your wife, giant new home, imported luxury cars, new boats, etc...

Problem is most of america is retarted.

Re:Interesting way of looking at it, but wrong.. (4, Funny)

jgs (245596) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636761)

Problem is most of america is retarted.

Too retarted to spell "retarded"?

Re:Interesting way of looking at it, but wrong.. (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636961)

No, "retarted," as in "We're all tarts...again."

Hmm. (2, Insightful)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636201)

"MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, "burnouts," "alternative kids," "art fags," punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn't play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm. These are kids whose parents didn't go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school. Teens who are really into music or in a band are on MySpace. MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracized at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers."

I think this is indicative of those who were "tech savvy" as much as having social issues. Myspace was a runoff of all the rating sites, minus the ratings. When the "misfits" found something to not be judged by, it became very popular.

to borrow from pynchon- (1)

versiondub (694793) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636203)

"eager sociologists" and their colleagues have somehow gained the stature in society that permits them to make wide generalizations and un-methodological extrapolations about their social surroundings. This sort of report reminds me of exactly the sort of thing a bunch of stoned college youths would discuss while slouching on their living-room couch, which, if you permit my own generalization, this "experienced ethnographer" probably is. While her wordy explanations and liberal use of the word 'kinda' are certainly appreciated, I really can't see any compelling evidence that myspace and facebook are the symbols of American class division (even though I have seen enough anecdotal evidence myself to agree).

Re:to borrow from pynchon- (4, Insightful)

kebes (861706) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636489)

Yeah, I have to agree with you. The topic seems interesting, but I can't take any of the conclusions too seriously, because ultimately this person is just using random anecdotes to make a case. This sentence sums up the article in my mind:

I don't have the data to confirm whether or not a statistically significant shift has occurred but it was one of those things that just made me think.
At least the author acknowledges that there isn't sufficient data to say anything truly authoritative on the subject. I think the article is sufficiently interesting that it bears further (statistically significant!) analysis. Yet until such an analysis is done, this article is only an opinion piece. The different between discussing anecdotes and doing actual scientific studies is that when you recount anecdotes you will tend to recount those that support your preconceptions. So the content of the article could be more a reflection of the author's subconscious expectations about how class division relates to the websites in question. Ideally, a scientific study removes biases and exposes data more meaningfully.

I also feel like the author's persistent struggles with how to "define class" in the US would evaporate if a proper study were performed. Because, in a scientific study you don't have to "define class"--rather you simply report what variables correlate with website choice, and what variables don't. You can then divide the population into groups (if the data supports such a division) and see whether the group divisions correlate to income, education, ethnicity, etc. (without ever having to artificially apply class labels).

Food for thought, but unfortunately nothing meaningfully conclusive.

Some valid points. (4, Insightful)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636217)

Most teens who exclusively use Facebook are familiar with and have an opinion about MySpace. These teens are very aware of MySpace and they often have a negative opinion about it. They see it as gaudy, immature, and "so middle school." They prefer the "clean" look of Facebook, noting that it is more mature and that MySpace is "so lame."

I never understood the whole appeal of MySpace, other than it's a free blogging site. I also have the same feeling. I had an account once, but if felt more like a place for kids to have fun, than an adult. It was more geared toward "Would you ever kiss X, Y, Z" rather than topics more adult oriented like politics, technology, etc.

They both seem to fit a niche, so more power to them both. Just not my cup of tea.

As a Facebook user who tried to get into MySpace: (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636595)

I find Facebook to be a much simpler interface both to use and to understand once you get past the gated-community-esque security.

MySpace, to me, feels like Geocities with marginally better hosting capabilities and a wall to post on. The fact that it's being marketed as a 'social network' seems trite when all it's really doing is focusing on the lowest common denominator. Admittedly, I'm sure it's that part that's scaring people, but only because the internet has a much lower barrier to access than it used to back when places like Tripod and Geocities were king.

This used to be... (1)

zoefff (61970) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636263)

Beatles vs Stones.

or...

[ insert recent /. poll ]

New generation, new divide, I guess.

Nothing to see here, please move along... (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636265)

It's actually an interesting read and worth your time.

Only if you're into Social Networking sites. If you're like me and you aren't, the article is just as worthless as the SNSs themselves.

But because I did take your advice and read the article, here's one little bit that summed it all up for me:

A month ago, the military banned MySpace but not Facebook. This was a very interesting move because there's a division, even in the military. Soldiers are on MySpace; officers are on Facebook. Facebook is extremely popular in the military, but it's not the SNS of choice for 18-year old soldiers, a group that is primarily from poorer, less educated communities. They are using MySpace.

If Facebook is "extremely popular" then it would be used by the "grunts" and not just the officers as the author claims is how it really works in the military. While I personally believe that anyone who uses MySpace is generally a fucking retard that doesn't mean that the "unwashed masses" use only MySpace. I know plenty of intellectuals that love hiding their dirty little MySpace secret.

Don't bother believing the blurb that it's worth a read. It really isn't. This "article" is nothing more than an attempt to push their political slant/POV. They seriously could have left out the non-sense about the Walmart Nation, etc as it has absolutely nothing to do w/the rest of the article.

-1 Political Troll

Re:Nothing to see here, please move along... (1)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636599)

Don't bother believing the blurb that it's worth a read. It really isn't. This "article" is nothing more than an attempt to push their political slant/POV. They seriously could have left out the non-sense about the Walmart Nation, etc as it has absolutely nothing to do w/the rest of the article.
I'm going to respectfully disagree. The author has opinions and biases like everyone else (in fact, some are admitted directly in the article), but the ideas presented in the article are still worth the read. I used Facebook once upon a time, and Myspace, though I don't use either anymore and never used either much at all.


I'm curious just how disparate the social classes & their use of myspace/facebook can be if both classes have enough internet access to create and regularly use the social networking sites.

Re:Nothing to see here, please move along... (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636717)

I'm curious just how disparate the social classes & their use of myspace/facebook can be if both classes have enough internet access to create and regularly use the social networking sites.

Then my suggestion to you is to gather data, study said data, and report on it in a straightforward manner. When you distribute that report to the Internet (and it's subsequently posted to the front page of Slashdot) make certain that it doesn't show your political slant/bias or it will be ignored by those of us with a brain just the same as this one.

Re:Nothing to see here, please move along... (2, Insightful)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636849)

How can any report of more than a certain lenght possibly NOT display anyone's political slant? Even a robot would be programmed by someone with a slant and would display an indirect slant of its own. How can a HUMAN possibly report on something without slant? The very choosing of the topic of the report itself is indicative of a slant (i.e. populists are very interested in issues of class divides, elitists are not).

Re:Nothing to see here, please move along... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636953)

As you well know, I meant not talking about Walmart Nation, how the poor and uneducated make up non-officer soldiers, etc.

Please be serious and stop trolling.

Re:Nothing to see here, please move along... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636699)

While I personally believe that anyone who uses MySpace is generally a fucking retard

Someday, some alchemist will figure out how to turn irony into goldy.

How does one explain the blindingly obvious? (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636917)

Facebook is extremely popular in the military, but it's not the SNS of choice for 18-year old soldiers, a group that is primarily from poorer, less educated communities. They are using MySpace.

If Facebook is "extremely popular" then it would be used by the "grunts" and not just the officers as the author claims
I'm trying to find a way to point out what's wrong with your "logic", but I can't seem to think of anything that would reach a mind that would formulate that reply in the first place.
Still... I'll give it a try:

1- The author did NOT claim "just" the grunts. The dyke says the grunts mostly use MySpace instead Facebook.
2- "As the author claims"? Stop implying she's flat out making this up. The chick's got data, dude.
3- It's a study of class division, you can't get more divided than brass and grunts. Why would you assume that the division does not manifest in cyberspace?
etc.

Re:How does one explain the blindingly obvious? (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636987)

The dyke says the grunts mostly use MySpace instead Facebook.

If you were expecting me to respond to your comments after using that word, you were mistaken.

Obvious? (4, Insightful)

SoapBox17 (1020345) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636279)

Up until recently Facebook only allowed people with .edu emails to sign up. Then, they added corporations. Only relatively recently did they add the ability for anyone to sign up, and use geographical "networks", etc.

Anyways, its fairly obvious comparing the two sites that one is oriented towards people who are more mature. The site is, for the most part, very structured. There are profile fields, and unless you get into the seedy underbelly of groups, its hard to get any kind of ridiculous "self expression" on Facebook. MySpace, on the other hand, is highl customizable and lends itself much easier to stupid "rebel conforming non-conformist" teenagers and others who never really grew up.

Its not some evil class division or whatever. duh.

Re:Obvious? (3, Funny)

thestreetmeat (1055390) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636891)

Actually, the quality of facebook users has been declining ever since they opened the site to non-Harvard students.

I agree. Myspace users wouldn't know vintage port from the turpentine they use to thin the paint on their shanties.

Missing 3rd Class (2, Interesting)

Vexor (947598) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636305)

By 3rd I don't mean "lower" or "poor". I mean the 3rd class who doesn't use either or gives a damn about either site.

Re:Missing 3rd Class (1)

mlk (18543) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636985)

LinkedIn?

Wow (3, Funny)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636309)

This guy REALLY likes the world hegemonic.

grep hegemonic | wc -l

:)

Class or Crass? (1)

famicommie (1118707) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636331)

The essay seemed to suggest that subculture adoption was more influential than socioeconomic status is in determining what sorts of people frequent each site. "Punks goths and queers" typically inhabit myspace according to TA, and so far as I know there isn't any barriers preventing affluent youth from joining ranks with "outcasts". To that end, there certainly isn't anything preventing at-risk youth from aspiring to higher education. Mixing up class with arbitrary clique preferences is a dangerous ground. Besides, do you have any idea how much a pre-torn punk t-shirt costs at the mall?

author doesn't understand class (2, Interesting)

nickhart (1009937) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636367)

Class isn't about how much money you make or your ethnicity. Class is all about one's relation to the means of production. If you own a factory, then you exploit labor in order to make a profit--you're a capitalist. If you are forced to sell your labor power for a living, then you're working class. "Middle class" is an invention that tries to segment the upper-income portion of the working class into a separate group and argues that they have different class interests than other working class people--which isn't true (although it doesn't preclude "middle class" people from having false consciousness--holding ideas that they have more in common with the capitalists). All working class people have an interest in a clean environment, safe working conditions, free universal health care, an end to war, equal pay for equal work, better education, jobs, etc... The ruling capitalist class has no interest in those things because their interest is in gaining more profit.

Re:author doesn't understand class (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636837)

If you own a factory, then you exploit labor in order to make a profit--you're a capitalist. If you are forced to sell your labor power for a living, then you're working class.
So how is one supposed to live, if not through labor? And how is voluntarily selling ones labor to a factory owner "exploitation"?

Is it really a summary paper (4, Funny)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636375)

Five paragraphs into this 'article' and it became clear the author needs to rethink college and stay in MySpace.

A misanthrope network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636413)

I'm looking for an anti-social site where members lack friends or interest in socializing with the opposite sex. I'd like a journal in which to exercise my shallow narcissism, a site with a technological bent and anonymity in discussions (a definite plus).

Does anybody know of such a place?

My Interesting is Lack (1)

dctoastman (995251) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636465)

"their lack of interesting in having HS students"

Such quality journalism.
Also, let's consider the class of people who were out of college by 2005 vs the class of people who are in college as of 2005.

I haven't had an .edu email in years.

Re:My Interesting is Lack (1)

n8k99 (888757) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636771)

it's good to see that the only beef nerds have with an article such as this, is the grammatical errors that make the piece read as if the author was relating her ideas and discoveries to you personally over a cup of coffee- and not with the ideas and discoveries themself.

Both (1)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636467)

What if you have both? I have a myspace and a facebook.

Re:Both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636513)

That duality transcends class divisions. But do congratulate yourself on being twice as pathetic as the average idiot.

Re:Both (1)

khendron (225184) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636651)

Then you have no class.

Sorry ;-)

Re:Both (1)

LordBafford (1087463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636765)

Touche'

I don't really see what's so special (4, Insightful)

Ynsats (922697) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636475)

That paper does nothing, as others have already said, but tell us there there are social classes among people. It's a typical high school social experiment with the different cliques. The paper does nothing of any value beyond giving a short and over-simplifying explanation/history of MySpace and Facebook.

For real social commentary and study, I would have been more interested to see a multi-year study that showed a group of high school students from all social cliques that tracked usage and content of the personal sites over say 6-8 years to see how far in to life those social cliques extend.

All this article has done is reinforce the fact that people congregate with other people with like interests. So naturally, if I'm a "freak/geek" and all of my friends are "freaks" and "geeks" and they hang out on MySpace then why would I want to hang out on Facebook with a bunch of "jocks" who have dissimilar interests and little in common with me? This is common sense, not a ground breaking social study.

Furthermore, the author continues on to use this "disparity" in common use between several sites to show demographic trends which really don't correlate at all. Especially since the author is trying to use the information and "collected data" to show how different social classes use different websites. This is not really shown at all. There is no basis of evidence that the "freaks and geeks" that use MySpace are in a lower societal class. Nor do they show that Facebook has provided a higher earning and networking potential for uses to validate the claim that they are from a higher social class. The author is using inference falsely to show a class separation with no factual support other than essentially "The people on MySpace are weird and not as "beautiful" as the people on Facebook so they must be poor." It's an asinine argument and if that paper was written for course credit, I hope they didn't get a decent grade. If it was written as a professional document for a publication then "ethnographic research " is either a joke science or someone needs to read articles submitted for publication more carefully.

I feel dumber for wading through that article and I honestly want those 10 minutes of my life back.

Its about taste (1)

Wise Dragon (71071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636481)

I thought I'd have something cogent to say about Myspace vs. Facebook and sociology, but really all I can come up with is that I like the design of Facebook much better. It seem like someone actually sat down and planned out the user experience. Its an Application. Myspace seems like a pile of crappy HTML mated with a music player and produced a million offspring, each subtly different. Myspace is a glorified homepage, much like the geocities homepages of days gone by. Homeplages Plus spam! That being said, as with Instant Messengers, I have accounts on each because I have friends on each. My friendships respect no class or social netowrking site boundaries.

Shocking! (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636517)

Teenagers divide into cliques and label themselves and each other, even online! Film at 11.

No, I didn't RTFA (1)

n6kuy (172098) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636527)

..and I can't imagine that it's worth my time to do so.

Re:No, I didn't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636923)

I can't imagine that it was worth your time to make that post!

Curiosity question... (1)

ErichTheRed (39327) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636549)

I'm pre-Web 2.0, so I really don't know the answer to this one.

Does every high school and college student use MySpace or FaceBook these days? Sure, there's probably some Luddites out there, but is the penetration in the 90+% range?

Has it really become that huge a phenomenon? I've seen some goofy MySpace pages, but didn't realize that _everyone_ had one.

Stuff like this really makes me feel like an old fogey. Don't people realize that no one cares what you ate today, who your friends are, or what kind of car you drive?

Re:Curiosity question... (1)

Robber Tom (1116343) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636801)

I attend the University of Michigan, and I can say that 98% of all students here, undergrad and grad alike, use Facebook. Maybe 40% of profs. Same is true for any Big 10 school (Iowa, Ohio State), as well as USC, Notre Dame, smaller schools like Western Michigan University, and private schools that nobody's heard about like Albion. The only schools that don't pass the 90% range are community colleges, mostly because they don't like to admit they're going to community college. Most of these people use Myspace. Every person I ever met in high school that has ever been to a show (excluding the huge national sold-out stadium tours) had (has) a Myspace account. It's an obscenely large phenomenon. In regards to the "nobodoy cares what you ate today," you're mistaking these sites for a (daily updated) blog... more specifically Livejournal. They aren't daily correspondences, they're friend networking sites. And... most people care who your friends are. Gossip is gossip, whether it's ex-girlfriends or buddies from high school, it provides a way to keep up with them. Throw in party invitations, pictures from said party with your best buddy shitfaced and licking a girl's face, and then finding said girl and posting a comment saying "dude looks like XXXXX was ALL OVER YOU! Get tested or somethign!" , it's a great way to supplement a social life, or replace one altogether.

What the author says about the paper: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636559)

The author posted this paper to a mailing list yesterday, here is what she said:

"I've been trying to write an essay for a while about the class
dynamics around Facebook and MySpace. I finally gave up and realized
that I didn't have the proper words for talking about this issue so I
wrote an essay with caveats. I offer it to you to tear to shreds in
the hopes that maybe some good can come out of it. (I didn't include
the full text here because it's long - i hope the link doesn't
discourage folks from checking it out.) Feedback is *very* welcome.

Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace
http://www.danah.org/papers/essays/ClassDivisions. html [danah.org] "

UNITED STATES Class Divisions: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636571)


( can't you illiterate 'Mericans get your geography correct?)

courtesy of the actions of your Military-Industrial-CONGRESSIONAL Complex [whitehouse.org] .

Sincerely,
Kilgore Trout

Is our children learning? (1)

Lester67 (218549) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636607)

I suck at grammar, syntax, and sometimes punctuation. So when I notice just how shitty a job someone has done on all three, we've got a problem. Of course there is always the possibility that this just looks like it was written by a ninth grader.

Title should read: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636649)

American Intelligence Divisions Through Facebook and MySpace

MySpace and FaceBook aren't the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636713)

MySpace started out as a place for people to put up their band music/stuff. You can be on MySpace and achieve some kind of useful outcome without having a zillion 'friends'.

FaceBook, on the other hand, is pointless without a group of 'friends'. The only people on FaceBook are those who want to network. My daughter, for instance, has to be on FaceBook or miss out on all her friends' group activities. None of them phone each other to go out to the pub anymore.

The question that the study seems to raise is about which people network more.

only anecdotal evidence? (1)

dlenmn (145080) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636741)

Ok, so a lot of claims are made, but where did the data come from?

From TFA:

I have analyzed over 10,000 MySpace profiles, clocked over 2000 hours surfing and observing what happens on MySpace, and formally interviewed 90 teens in 7 states with a variety of different backgrounds and demographics. But that's only the tip of the iceberg. I ride buses to observe teens; I hang out at fast food joints and malls. I talk to parents, teachers, marketers, politicians, pastors, and technology creators. I read, I observe, I document.
Ok, that's worth something, but it's not enough to substantiate the claims (90 teens = high margin of error). According to her website, she's a PhD candidate -- hopefully she has better evidence for her thesis.

Interesting, but not so useful (1)

DanielMarkham (765899) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636757)

I know it's common practice here for the moderators to pimp up the story, and the crowd tear it apart bit-by-bit. I guess something about thinking that you're smart leads people to be overly critical, but I digress.

I found the article interesting in that it was an insight into a world I really just don't have time to study -- tweeny and college-kid social sites. It does appear from the anecdotes that the sites are experiencing some kind of market segmentation, but I found the writer limited by her own concepts of what the market segments should be.

So instead of analysis we kind of meander around, with her explaining her observations and fears and how all muddled it probably is and what a poor job she is going to do imposing a class structure onto American society. The reason this is true is somewhat obvious -- there are real market-led forces at work here. FaceBook has an image of being for older, better-off kids, partly because of it's roots as a college application. MySpace is more pedestrian.

And that's why the piece falls apart: the writer simply does not have the appropriate tools to be talking about her subject. Market segmentation is a mature field, and you could draw all sorts of parallels and lessons-learned. Instead, she seems (to me) to be mired into psycho-babble and fuzzy-headed sweeping generalizations about our society which are ill-supported.

I did find it very interesting, though.

Er. What now? (2, Insightful)

stonecypher (118140) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636775)

This is a whole bunch of speculation and personal value divisions presented as if it were a research paper. The problem is, there's no actual research. No data, no information, just a bunch of semi-large words used semi-correctly. The author makes a quick handwaving about how difficult it is to discuss class in America, but actual academics don't have nearly the problem with it that the author does; perhaps the reason the author finds it so difficult to use their data in an academic fashion is not so much about the difficulty of the topic as because the data was never taken in the first place .

This paper basically says "white rich kids who want to get into college go to FaceBook because they heard MySpace was dangerous, that FaceBook's college social networking was valuable and because they're tired of the gaudy graphics in use there." I'll wait for the book - maybe there'll be something other than guesswork and one writer's nasty stereotypes there. Y'know, like actual evidence.

Internet through Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19636831)

What was once a geekdom, turned into NYT gossip column.

It's a site life cycle thing (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636897)

Social networking sites have a life cycle, like nightclubs. They open, they get some cool people, if they're successful they get more cool people and become the place to go, they get greedy and let too many people in, they become uncool and fall out of favor, they limp along in obscurity for quite a while, and finally they close. Formerly-cool social networking sites include AOL, the Well, Geocities, EZboard, Nerve, Tribe, and Friendster. Myspace hasn't grown in a year, and Facebook is still on the way up. See the relevant Alexa traffic ratings [alexa.com] .

As the article points out, the early adopters tend to be in the 20-30 age range, and over time, usage of sites filters down to college and then high school students. The article points out that this happened for Myspace and is happening to Facebook. But they see this as a "class" thing, not a life-cycle thing, because they didn't look at enough sites and their history.

The next generation of social networking will probably be phone-based. Helio, the expensive "don't call it a phone" device with Myspace integration, should have Facebook integration instead. Look for an iPhone-based social networking system.

Somebody is going to do phone-based social networking well and make billions.

Irrelevant (1)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636941)

Facebook, Myspace, Friendster... they're all the same, but they'll always change. As what is "Cool" changes, people will continue migrate to this week's Big Thing. Kids always think that what they happen to be doing at the time is revolutionary.

this just in (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636947)

social networking sites network people into hierarchies

news at 11

Where do 30-something professionals fit? (1)

scottfk (125751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636959)

Where do the 30-something-year-old professionals fit into this worldview?

We are too old for Facebook, since we think of that as a hangout for college students.

Class in America (4, Interesting)

Vegeta99 (219501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636963)

You know, this paper could be extended into many different areas.

As this paper says, class is very hard to define in America - in the United States, class can be more about culture and lifestyle than income or job description.

I'll give you an anecdotal example. I'm a college student, but during summers, I work in factories as a laborer. In the cafeteria, I look more like a supervisor than a laborer. My car is old, but perfectly clean, inside and out. I keep my clothes as clean as the work allows, and my shirts are usually ironed and tucked in, my boots clean, my hard hat clean. Most of the laborers, who are living on a HIGHER wage than I because I'm usually a temp worker, do not. What is important to them is not their aesthetics - especially at work. What is important to them is enjoying their lives. Work is secondary, and not really enjoyable. I'll agree with them on the second part, but where the division is in the importance of work. They have a job, not a career.

This "paper" hits on this. If your work is important to you, you have to follow that work. I haven't read the book by Paul Willis that the paper sums up, but it's true. I am a high school dropout, I planned on joining the military as an enlistee, not as an officer candidate. But his summary is quite correct in my case. I made that "class jump" - I'm not made to do mundane labor 60 hours a week, I have a brain and I need to use it.

Now, when I DO go to my hometown, my old friends are, well, not my friends anymore. They don't understand how I can value paying 250% of my yearly income to go to SCHOOL, how I can spend months preparing for a fifteen minute presentation, much less fathom seven years of training for the ability, not the guarantee of a job. They don't see the point in dedicating oneself fully to the "system" because they think it will stick them in some sort of hierarchy and force them to follow rules. What they unfortunately miss is that the blue collar circle sticks them in an even more restrictive hierarchy. You don't do consulting work as a press operator!

This certainly fits with the division seen between MySpace and Facebook. MySpace allows one to do whatever they want with their page - conventions be damned. Facebook, on the other hand, has a set style and layout (or did. The applications are slowly changing that). But when push comes to shove, the "hierarchy" and layout of Facebook gives users a bit more useful information - try finding someone's AOL s/n on MySpace if you've never seen their page before, and then try the same on Facebook!

Class "it itself" and "for itself" (1)

johanneswilm (549816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19636967)

Interesting thoughts. But the first part about class not having to do much with income makes little sense to me. Marx operates with a class "in itself" which is a class due to objective indicators (As measured through their relation to the means of procution) and a class "for itself" which is a class that is aware of the fact that it has common interests. Just because the latter does not exist in the US very much at the moment does not mean that the former disappears.
The other part about income groups and lifestyle seems to be taken out of a Weberian analysis -- not really connected to any kind of anti-capitalist theory.
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