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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 My Space.The bands began populating the site by early 2004 and throughout 2004, the average age slowly declined.
This should answer some of the confusions introduced by this essay.) (Leveraging ethnographic data, I have documented these dynamics in more detail in my dissertation: "Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics." See Chapter Five.) (I take up the racist language that teens use to discuss My Space and Facebook in "White Flight in Networked Publics? Americans aren't so good at talking about class and I'm definitely feeling that discomfort.
How Race and Class Shaped American Teen Engagement with My Space and Facebook." To be published in edited by Peter Chow-White and Lisa Nakamura.) Over the last six months, I've noticed an increasing number of press articles about how high school teens are leaving My Space for Facebook. There is indeed a change taking place, but it's not a shift so much as a fragmentation. It's sticky, it's uncomfortable, and to top it off, we don't have the language for marking class in a meaningful way.
Facebook was strongly framed as the "cool" thing that college students did.
So, if you want to go to college (and particularly a top college), you wanted to get on Facebook badly.
Socio-economic divisions In sociology, Nalini Kotamraju has argued that constructing arguments around "class" is extremely difficult in the United States.
Terms like "working class" and "middle class" and "upper class" get all muddled quickly.In mid-2005, Facebook opened its doors to high school students, but it wasn't that easy to get an account because you needed to be invited.As a result, those who were in college tended to invite those high school students that they liked.I couldn't find a good set of terms so feel free to suggest alternate labels.) These terms are sloppy at best because the division isn't clear, but it should at least give us terms with which to talk about the two groups.The division is cleanest in communities where the predator panic hit before My Space became popular.She 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 K a year and have no benefits.In much of the midwest, teens heard about Facebook and My Space at the same time.They were told that My Space was bad while Facebook was key for college students seeking to make friends at college.When Facebook opened to everyone last September, it became relatively easy for any high school student to join (and then they simply had to get permission to join their high school network). Not surprisingly, college-bound high schoolers desperately wanted in.This meant that many more high school teens did join, much to the chagrin and horror of college students who had already begun writing about their lack of interest in having HS students on "their" site. In addition to the college framing, the press coverage of My Space as dangerous and sketchy alienated "good" kids. Parents weren't nearly as terrified of Facebook because it seemed "safe" thanks to the network-driven structure.