L14.p6 - Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users...

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Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social. .. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/hargittai.html 1 of 19 09-03-05 08.21 JCMC Home Submit Issues Author Index Editors About JCMC Hargittai, E. (2007). Whose space? Differences among users and non-users of social network sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication , 13 (1), article 14. http://jcmc.indiana.edu/vol13/issue1/hargittai.html Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users of Social Network Sites Eszter Hargittai Communication Studies and Sociology Northwestern University Go to a section in the article: Abstract Are there systematic differences between people who use social network sites and those who stay away, despite a familiarity with them? Based on data from a survey administered to a diverse group of young adults, this article looks at the predictors of SNS usage, with particular focus on Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, and Friendster. Findings suggest that use of such sites is not randomly distributed across a group of highly wired users. A person's gender, race and ethnicity, and parental educational background are all associated with use, but in most cases only when the aggregate concept of social network sites is disaggregated by service. Additionally, people with more experience and autonomy of use are more likely to be users of such sites. Unequal participation based on user background suggests that differential adoption of such services may be contributing to digital inequality. Introduction Social network sites (SNSs) have become some of the most popular online destinations in recent years (comScore, 2007a, 2007b). Not surprisingly, this level of user attraction has been accompanied by much coverage in the popular press, including speculations about the potential gains and harms stemming from the use of SNS services (Hempel, 2005; Magid, 2006; Stafford, 2006). Academic researchers have started studying the use of SNSs, with questions ranging from their role in identity construction and expression (boyd concerns about privacy (e.g., Gross & Acquisti, 2005; Hodge, 2006). While these areas of inquiry are all important and worthy of exploration, a significant antecedent question has been largely ignored: Are there systematic differences between who is and who is not a SNS user, and are people equally likely to join the various types of services that exist? This article sets out to address this question. A significant challenge for studies trying to answer questions about who is and is not using SNSs is that the samples on which they are based (e.g., Ellison et al., 2007) typically include such a small number of non-users that there is little variance present to explain differentiated basic adoption of the services. On the rare occasions when data have been available on non-users in addition to users, the focus of the studies has been elsewhere. For example, Pasek, More, and Romer (2007) have disaggregated data by site and variance
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course 1MD 001 taught by Professor Erikborälv during the Spring '09 term at Uppsala.

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L14.p6 - Whose Space? Differences Among Users and Non-Users...

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