(Click to play the soundtrack of my summer and, incidentally, of this post. The band is Asobi Seksu a NYC Shoegaze quartet and the song is Thursday. I dont have any suitable and meaningful visual resources for this post so I’ve decided to put some promotion material of this band that I really like instead.)
Classes and networks
I’ve blogged about this Danah Boyd essay already.
It looks like this has caused a lot of misinterpretation and angry posts to which Danah has decided to respond.
Sociology made clear
Let’s put it frankly : Danah has been a constant inspiration for the past 18 months or so as I’ve delved into the social network things. I am so grateful she shares her works. It is quite unique and invaluable in understanding how the internet affects our everyday life and our societies.
One of the aspects of her work I particularly appreciate is this constant desire to be as clear as possible when exposing new ideas : the fine, simple and cautious tuning of her sentences to make sure she makes herself understood.
Funnily enough, I’m french and it appears to be easier for me to understand her essays than it is to understand french sociologists ones as they don’t have this concern of being clear and simple.
Teenagers and predictability
I thought this essay was brilliantly provocative and thoughtful. In particular, these concepts of Hegemonic and Subaltern people are so appropriate, they just put a brand new and clear perspective on teen social organisations.
My feeling is that people just get very annoyed when all of a sudden they are brought back to this deterministic reality : no matter how hard we try, we still belong to a social class and our behavior is quite often very predictable. What this essay claims is that is is true both in Myspace and in the meatspace. And this is where it gets fascinating.
I think teenagers just get particularly upset with this type of analysis since their main objective while building up their own personality is to be unique and different.
Especially on the internet which is perceived as a space of free expression. Here comes a sociologist that says : “Hey guys , dont get to excited by your electronic self : broadly speaking, depending on where you socialize online, we can roughly tell the kind of teens you are, the type of parents you have (or dont), the type of after school activities etc ...”
Instead of getting upset, they should read this essay properly and be grateful for all the time and disenchantment these lucid thoughts will save them.
On his blog, David Armano talks about how important “Human Synthetizer” are today to understand the constantly shifting world :
“(…) One of the most important traits of a synthesizer is the ability to produce a set of “outputs” which moves insights from the abstract to the concrete (…) I believe that these soft skills are needed now more than ever because design, technology, business, brand and human needs have never been so intertwined before, so co-dependent”
This is exactly what Danah is for me as a web 2.0 amateur observer.
Danah, thanks a million for your great work.
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