Facebook是平等乌托邦吗?Facebook 的社会结构研究

我们对互联网的愿景有很多,不仅仅是知识的民主化,还包括社会互动的民主化。我们渴望在线上,任何人都有机会获取一个排除了地理、阶级、财富甚至是种族、性别、年龄这些个人因素的社交空间,人们可以按照共同的兴趣、好奇心走到一起。外部环境的表象应该被真正重要的属性所颠覆,身份不应当成为个人表达的羁绊——夸张点说,在网上你不能确定和你聊天的是不是一条狗。

社交网络时代,互联网是形成了新的社交连接,还是仅仅反映了我们的线下世界中的连接,连带着线下世界里的阶层分化、种族分化?

近期有研究者分析了近百所大学的Facebook大学生用户的数据,数据反映的是2005年某一天的数据。研究者发现,社交网络上不同学校的Facebook使用存在着高度的分化和差异,学生们最近的社交团体并不是由他们的兴趣所决定的,而是由他们的年级决定的。这项研究提示我们,虽然互联网给我们带来了极大的馈赠,但它还没能改变“我们是谁”、也没能“消除我们的阶层、种族、性别或年龄的建构”。

文章题目:Social Structure of Facebook Networks

文章摘要:

Abstract
We study the social structure of Facebook ‘‘friendship’’ networks at one hundred American colleges and universities at a single point in time, and we examine the roles of user attributes -- gender, class year, major, high school, and residence -- at these institutions. We investigate the influence of common attributes at the dyad level in terms of assortativity coefficients and regression models. We then examine larger-scale groupings by detecting communities algorithmically and comparing them to network partitions based on user characteristics. We thereby examine the relative importance of different characteristics at different institutions, finding for example that common high school is more important to the social organization of large institutions and that the importance of common major varies significantly between institutions. Our calculations illustrate how microscopic and macroscopic perspectives give complementary insights on the social organization at universities and suggest future studies to investigate such phenomena further.

文章作者:

Amanda L. Traud, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, United States
Peter J. Mucha, University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, United States
Mason Alexander Porter (Contact Author), University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU, United Kingdom

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