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SHE SAID *THAT?*

Classism comes to MySpace

August 19, 2007

Danah Boyd lighted a fuse with a blog essay on class divisions in Facebook and MySpace.

The goodie two shoes, jocks, athletes, or other "good" kids are now going to Facebook. . . MySpace is still home for Latino/Hispanic teens, immigrant teens, "burnouts," "alternative kids" . . . punks, emos, goths, gangstas, queer kids, and other kids who didn't play into the dominant high school popularity paradigm.

Where exactly did Boyd get her statistics? I don't think there's any accuracy in her "report." She is demeaning, racist and homophobic. MySpace has been a success and continues to be because it is a diverse social networking site, not a site that promotes segregation, as Boyd seems to suggest.

Terms like "bling" come out of hip-hop culture where showy, sparkly, brash visual displays are acceptable and valued. The look and feel of MySpace resonates far better with subaltern communities than it does with the upwardly mobile hegemonic teen. That "clean" or "modern" look of Facebook is akin to West Elm or Pottery Barn or any poshy Scandinavian design house . . . while the more flashy look of MySpace resembles the Las Vegas imagery that attracts millions every year.

-- Danah Boyd

Total "duh". . . These different groups don't hang out together offline, as everyone with a brain and a pair of eyes already knows. Why would you expect them to hang out together online?

One reaction often makes me giggle: "duh." To me, that is the reaction it should've evoked. Duh . . . . What I'm marking in this essay should've been obvious to everyone. What amazes me is so many folks are shocked by it and so many others refuse to acknowledge it.

-- Danah Boyd

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