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Class divisions between MySpace and Facebook users

Researcher Danah Boyd took a lot of attacks when she blogged an essay about the social differences between Facebook and MySpace users. Now she points to a study done by a Northwestern professor, Eszter Hargittai, who surveyed students at U. of Illinois-Chicago. The results appear to confirm at least some of what Boyd wrote.

Here’s what she wrote in June:

The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other “good” kids are now going to Facebook. These kids tend to come from families who emphasize education and going to college. They are part of what we’d call hegemonic society. They are primarily white, but not exclusively. They are in honors classes, looking forward to the prom, and live in a world dictated by after school activities.

MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, “burnouts,” “alternative kids,” “art fags,” punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn’t play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm. These are kids whose parents didn’t go to college, who are expected to get a job when they finish high school.

Hispanic students were the only ethnic group surveyed on campus that used MySpace more than Facebook. There also appears to be a correlation between the parents’ education and Facebook usage. One interesting note: Asian-Americans are far more likely than the others to use Xanga and Friendster.

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