[iDC] viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace

Sam Ladner samladner at gmail.com
Tue Jun 26 09:05:34 EDT 2007

Through all this thread, I'm really surprised at the notions of class that
are being bandied about. With the exception of the reference to the
lumpenproletariat, I see a real dearth of class theory.

Yes, class is about relationship to the means of production (Marx). But it
is also about relationship to the ability to control the work of others
(Olin Wright). And it is also about the unspoken behaviors that reveal one's
social capital (Bourdieu).

I believe what this essay is really about is the intersection of the
material manifestation of class (habitus perhaps) and how that is
transformed in the virtual space. It is also about the "appropriate"
behavior of the respective "fronts" of Myspace and Facebook. I would apply
Goffman's dramaturgical approach to understanding why certain groups
gravitate to either place --  the "scripts" of each are distinct and have a
certain "digital habitus" that comply to respective classes (in Olin
Wright's sense of the term).

On 6/25/07, Stephen Downes <stephen at downes.ca> wrote:
> Hiya,
> Until very recently, access to Facebook was restricted to college
> students. It was, in other words, restricted to the privileged class.
> Why would it be a surprise - or even news - to now discover that
> Facebook is the realm of the privileged class?
> That's like the dramatic discovery that most people a white-only golf
> clubs are white.
> Not to sound too cynical, but really now...
> -- Stephen
> ---
> Stephen Downes  ~  Researcher  ~  National Research Council Canada
> http://www.downes.ca  ~  stephen at downes.ca        ** Free Learning
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