Category: Social Media

danah boyd’s dissertation: Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics

February 7th, 2009 — 4:36pm
danah boyd. photo by davemc500hats.

danah boyd. Photo by davemc500hats

danah boyd is a researcher extraordinaire who examines youth social media practices and other intersections between technology and society. She now works at Microsoft Research New England and is a Fellow at Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. She recently got her PhD from the School of Information at UCBerkeley, and has made her dissertation available publicly:

Taken Out of Context: American Teen Sociality in Networked Publics

For more than two years, boyd conducted an ethnographic study of American teens’ engagement with social network sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Her dissertation documents “the ways in which their participation supported and complicated three practices – self-presentation, peer sociality, and negotiating adult society”. She describes social network sites as “networked publics” and stresses the “imagined community that emerges as a result of the intersection of people, technology, and practice.” According to boyd, networked publics, though similar in many ways to unmediated publics, contain structural differences that affect practices – including the properties of persistence, searchability, replicability, and scalability; and the dynamics of invisible audiences, collapsed contexts, and the blurring of public and private. Continue reading »

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