Social Media

The Rhetoric of MySpace vs. Facebook

Monday, October 26, 2009 Comment myspace is for losers graffiti on building

From Eszter Hargittai’s scholarship to more recent work by marketing analytics firms, we know that race and socio-economic status shape MySpace and Facebook usage. Yet, it is the rhetoric used by participants that highlights how these distinctions play out.  In an upcoming paper entitled “White Flight in Networked Publics?” (to be published in Lisa Nakamura and Peter Chow-White’s upcoming anthology on Race and Digital Technology), I map out the language used by teenagers – and, to a lesser degree, adults – to explain the divisions between MySpace and Facebook.   When one of the teens that I