While that’s hardly a revelation in itself, danah boyd’s latest essay gets down and dirty with the manner in which the FaceBook/Myspace communities reflect or present (American) class divisions… boyd goes to pains to point out that this is subjective research, but it’s provocative reading independent of any cold hard facts… do you know your “subaltern” from your “hegemonic” teens?
Her summary thoughts:
It breaks my heart to watch a class divide play out in the technology. I shouldn’t be surprised — when orkut grew popular in India, the caste system was formalized within the system by the users. But there’s something so strange about watching a generation splice themselves in two based on class divisions or lifestyles or whatever you want to call these socio-structural divisions.
We challenge you to slip some of this concern into your next social media client presentation, you FaceBook-fetishising media hegemonists, you. At least, please, keep it in mind when you have client money to throw at online communities. There’s an opportunity here to make the world a little less closed for a whole generation of socially-excluded digital natives. If you aren’t part of the solution…