Today’s Musings: MySpace/Facebook class differences & Movie Breakdown
Dana Boyd responded yesterday to the severe backlash re: her posting entitled “Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace”.
I discovered Dana last year when doing research on social networking and conferences of interest. This year alone she has been a featured speaker at Etech, Mashup, and more. I hope she will be speaking at the Tween Mashup in September, a conference I would love to attend!
This was the gist of her initial post:
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.
I left this comment to her response post that addressed the backlash:
I enjoyed reading your original blog post. You are right – many Latino/Hispanic teens interact with family members of all ages on MySpace, and often have profiles on both Facebook and MySpace, with the majority of their family members mostly on MySpace.
The only thing I took issue with was the framing of this paragraph:
******* 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. These are the teens who plan to go into the military immediately after schools. Teens who are really into music or in a band are also on MySpace. MySpace has most of the kids who are socially ostracized at school because they are geeks, freaks, or queers.
In order to demarcate these two groups, let’s call the first group of teens “hegemonic teens” and the second group “subaltern teens.” ********
I understand what you were intending to describe and why, however to be honest my first instinctual response was to be a little offended. You identified the following categories:
“Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, “burnouts,” “alternative kids,” “art fags,” punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids”
as if they were all separate and didn’t mention any overlap. Your choice to not use “most” or “many” when making this statement was also confusing. This also caught my notice:
“These are the teens who plan to go into the military immediately after schools.”
How did you come to this conclusion? What made you say this, instead of “who plan to end up doing clerical work, credit company customer service jobs, etc?” Curiosity and a tiny bit of outrage motivates my question.
Clearly the initial requirements to join Facebook created a huge class differentiation between the two sites, and I am interested in reading more of your work as you follow migration patterns, behaviors, and conflicts. I appreciate what you are doing.
Over the last two weeks I have seen a crazy amount of movies:
(out of 5 star rating)
- Hairspray (****) – I initially did not want to see this. I think I enjoyed the audience reaction more than the actual movie. So why the four star rating? I was tapping my toes the whole time to the music, I laughed a few times, enjoyed the dancing, and was glad to see a musical being so well received. It was great for what it was.
- Talk To Me (*****) – Don Cheadle is the man!
- Sunshine (***) – I love sci-fi. I loved 28 Days Later. Did not love this. My eyeballs loved the stimulation (gorgeous), my brain was bored. Danny Boyle, what happened?
- My Best Friend (****) – French guy doesn’t have any friends. At first I poo poo’d the premise and mocked the poster each time I passed the IFC, but I had the opportunity to see it gratis and actually enjoyed it very much.
- Drama/Mex (****) – I am excited about what is coming out of Mexican cinema. Not necessarily because I think its all gravy, but because there’s a lot of risk taking reminiscent of 70′s American cinema, and I miss that (as a decade, I wasn’t born yet).
- Joshua (**) – Sigh. Snooze. Boo.
- Sicko (***) – I enjoy Moore’s films because I never consider them actual documentaries. If I did, I would feel sicko.
Movies I want to see over the next two weeks:
- The Simpsons Movie
- This Is England
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (yes, the last person on earth who hasn’t seen it.)