[Air-L] Air-L Digest, Vol 65, Issue 19

Johnson, T t.johnson at ttu.edu
Sat Dec 19 16:46:52 PST 2009

I know danah, and at least my understanding of her work, particularly in talking about Facebook vs. MySpace is that she particularly looks at class differences in the two sites, although clearly race and education are clearly intertwined with class.  As danah as well as Eszter Hargittai have found, there are differences between the two site in terms of race, class and education: both real differences in terms of characteristics of their users and perceived differences. For instance, Hispanics are significantly more likely to use MySpace and Asians are significantly less likely to use MySpace; African Americans and nonHispanic whites are similar in amount of Facebook and MySpace use so it is certainly not a simple black as white issue. Also, users of MySpace are more likely to come from lowerclass households.  These class differences are manifested in discussion between peers (e.g. Facebook people sometimes look down on MySpace users)  and certainly perceptions of the two sites by the elite. Facebook is perceived as THE social network site because its users tend to look more like elites in media, education etc. even though the audience size of the two sites is not as large as media reports would suggest.  This has some real consequences.  The media all but ignore MySpace, and groups that recruit through social networking (e.g. businesses and schools) concentrate on Facebook so that the lower class and Hispanics are less likely to receive these recruiting attempts from business and education .  This is an oversimplification of their work, but danah and Eszter, I hope I have the gist of it.  To see more detailed discussions visit:


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Today's Topics:

   1. Re: facebook ethnic diversity? (Bertil Hatt)
   2. CFP Workshop: The Computational Turn (David M. Berry)
   3. Re: facebook ethnic diversity? (Gonzalo Bacigalupe)


Message: 1
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 03:58:30 +0100
From: Bertil Hatt <bertil.hatt at ensae.org>
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-L] facebook ethnic diversity?
        <111a48f00912181858q666f6c9bn4a787a9d647956d6 at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

I read it as a polite reply to (the hype over) danah boyd's blog post
on the differences between MySpace & Facebook: boyd herself never
reduced the argument to black vs. whites, but that's the reading
everybody had.  They had to reply to it, and they wisely avoided to
stirr up more flames at the time (their silence was a good pointer
that the intuition was onto something, as this study indicates). Now
that the result is far less ?scandal prone? they closed the question
with an interesting approach. But the intended reader was the
science-skiming media, hence the rather sound methodolocial base, but
the not so academic presentation of the results: with some work, they
could have published somethign based on that for, say, ICWSM, but they
haven't (so far). Doing so, they also don't have to justify their use
of too much, too personal data ? the kind no IRB would let any
academic handle.

By the way, I'd love to have some academic lobbying from you guys to
ask Facebook for some run time on that database: they have gold in
their hands to answer so many questions ? and we are all interested
not in detailed data, but the statistical results. If we can negociate
that they let us run some scripts, provided those can't possibly
reveal any personal information, won't run against their corporate
interest, and could help social science, that would be amazing. Maybe
some Ivy League universities already pay for that. That offer would
lead to lots of interesting discussion on what makes Facebook users
different from the general Internet users, way more then what they can
have internally?something valuable for the company.

About doing the same study abroad:
Outside of Nothern America there are no universal, easy to study,
significant social class markers; where race carries a similar stigma
as it does in the US, such studies are often prohibited. I have no
doubt Facebook uses similar approaches for marketing purposes, but any
details would be commercially invaluable, and the insights probably as
?dull? as what they are in the US after a few years of significant


Message: 2
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 09:19:41 +0000
From: David M. Berry <D.M.Berry at swansea.ac.uk>
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: [Air-L] CFP Workshop: The Computational Turn
Message-ID: <BA6DA4C5-608D-4EDF-8A2D-47B34684F0F7 at swansea.ac.uk>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=windows-1252;   format=flowed;

The Computational Turn in Arts and Humanities

9TH MARCH 2010

David Berry, Department of Political and Cultural Studies, Swansea
d.m.berry at swansea.ac.uk

The application of new computational techniques and visualisation
technologies in the Arts & Humanities are resulting in new approaches
and methodologies for the study of traditional and new corpuses of
Arts and Humanities materials. This new 'computation turn' takes the
methods and techniques from computer science to create new ways of
distant and close readings of texts (e.g. Moretti). This one-day
workshop aims to discuss the implications and applications of what Lev
Manovich has called 'Cultural Analytics' and the question of finding
patterns using algorthmic techniques. Some of the most startling
approaches transform understandings of texts by use of network
analysis (e.g. graph theory), database/XML encodings (which flatten
structures), or merely provide new quantitative techniques for looking
at various media forms, such as media and film, and (re)presenting
them visually, aurally or haptically. Within this field there are
important debates about the contrast between narrative against
database techniques, pattern-matching versus hermeneutic reading, and
the statistical paradigm (using a sample) versus the data mining
paradigm. Additionally, new forms of collaboration within the Arts and
Humanities are emerging which use team-based approaches as opposed to
the traditional lone-scholar. This requires the ability to create and
manage modular Arts and Humanities research teams through the
organisational structures provided by technology and digital
communications (e.g. Big Humanities), together with techniques for
collaborating in an interdisciplinary way with other disciplines such
as computer science (e.g. hard interdisciplinarity versus soft

Papers are encouraged in the following areas:

- Distant versus Close Reading
- Database Structure versus Argument
- Data mining/Text mining/Patterns
- Pattern as a new epistemological object
- Hermeneutics and the Data Stream
- Geospatial techniques
- Big Humanities
- Digital Humanities versus Traditional Humanities
- Tool Building
- Free Culture/Open Source Arts and Humanities
- Collaboration, Assemblages and Alliances
- Language and Code (software studies)
- Philosophical and theoretical reflections on the computational turn

Participation Requirements

Workshop participants are requested to submit a position paper about
the computational turn in Arts and Humanities, philosophical/
theoretical reflections on the computational turn, research focus or
research questions related to computational approaches, proposals for
academic practice with algorithmic/visualisation techniques, proposals
for new research methods with regard to Arts and Humanities or
specific case studies (if applicable) and findings to date. Position
papers will be published in a workshop PDF and website for discussion
and some of the participants will be invited to present their paper at
the workshop. Please ensure you put 'The Computational Turn' in the
subject line of the email submission.

Deadline for Position papers: February 10, 2010
Email papers to: d.m.berry at swansea.ac.uk

Workshop funded by The Callaghan Centre for the Study of Conflict,
Power, Empire, Swansea University. The Research Institute in the Arts
and Humanities (RIAH) at Swansea University.


Clement, Tanya E. (2008) ?A thing not beginning and not ending?: using
digital tools to distant-read Gertrude Stein?s The Making of
Americans. Literary and Linguistic Computing. 23.3 (2008): 361.

Clement, Tanya, Steger, Sara, Unsworth, John, Uszkalo, Kirsten (2008)
How Not to Read a Million Books. Retrieved 10/11/09 from http://www3.isrl.illinois.edu/~unsworth/hownot2read.html

Council on Library and Information Resources and The National
Endowment for the Humanities (2009) Working Together or Apart:
Promoting the Next Generation of Digital Scholarship. Retrieved
10/11/09 from http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub145/pub145.pdf

Hayles, N. Katherine (2009) RFID: Human Agency and Meaning in
Information-Intensive Environments. Theory, Culture and Society 26.2/3
(2009): 1-24.

Hayles, N. Katherine (2009) How We Think: The Transforming Power of
Digital Technologies. Retrieved 10/11/09 from http://hdl.handle.net/1853/27680

Kittler, Fredrich (1997) Literature, Media, Information Systems.
London: Routledge.

Krakauer, David C. (2007) The Quest for Patterns in Meta-History.
Santa Fe Institute Bulletin. Winter 2007. Retrieved 10/11/09 from http://www.intelros.ru/pdf/SFI_Bulletin/Quest.pdf

Latour, Bruno (2007) Reassembling the Social. London: Oxford
University Press.

Manovich, Lev (2002) The Language of New Media. MIT Press.

Manovich, Lev (2007) White paper: Cultural Analytics: Analysis and
Visualizations of Large Cultural Data Sets, May 2007. Retrieved
10/11/09 from http://softwarestudies.com/cultural_analytics/cultural_analytics_2008.doc

McLemee, Scott (2006) Literature to Infinity. Inside Higher Ed.
Retrieved 10/11/09 from http://www.insidehighered.com/views/mclemee/mclemee193

Moretti, Franco (2005) Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a
Literary History. London: Verso.

Robinson, Peter (2006) Electronic Textual Editing: The Canterbury
Tales and other Medieval Texts. Electronic Textual Editing. Modern
Language Association of America. Retrieved 10/11/09 from  http://www.tei-c.org/About/Archive_new/ETE/Preview/robinson.xml

Schreibman, Susan, Siemens, Ray & Unsworth, John (2007) A Companion to
Digital Humanities. London: WileyBlackwell.


Dr. David M. Berry
Department of Political and Cultural Studies
Room KH029
Keir Hardie Building
Swansea University
Singleton Campus

Tel: 01792 602633



Message: 3
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 2009 13:04:18 -0500
From: Gonzalo Bacigalupe <bacigalupe at gmail.com>
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-L] facebook ethnic diversity?
Message-ID: <43F42BE5-D574-4785-AFA1-62830FABAAC6 at gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain;       charset=us-ascii

This digital divide data is from a report dated 2005 (www.civilrights.org/publications/nation-online/digitaldivide.pdf).
 It has been cited in later reports. Digital divide has decreased but what may be more interested to analyze is the digital literacy levels. Access does not mean use or access to the information.
Does anyone knows of new reports?

Gonzalo Bacigalupe
Associate Professor
University of Massachusetts

On Dec 18, 2009, at 6:00 PM, air-l-request at listserv.aoir.org wrote:

> Message: 7
> Date: Fri, 18 Dec 2009 15:27:12 +0200
> From: gustavo <gustavo at soc.haifa.ac.il>
> To: <air-l at listserv.aoir.org>
> Subject: Re: [Air-L] facebook ethnic diversity?
> Message-ID: <dca47d810f3bcd2f6b31d68db3239b13 at soc.haifa.ac.il>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
> More on this issue, selection bias is present.
> According to the 2009 Report for the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
> Education Fund by
> Robert W. Fairlie University of California, Santa Cruz and
> National Poverty Center, University of Michigan
> "The Digital Divide in the US is large and does not appear to be
> disappearing soon. Blacks and Latinos are much less likely to have access
> to home computers than are white, non-Latinos (50.6 and 48.7 percent
> compared to 74.6 percent). They are also less likely to have Internet
> access at home (40.5 and 38.1 percent compared to 67.3 percent).
> ? Asians have home computer and Internet access rates that are higher than
> white, non-Latino rates (77.7 and 70.3 percent), and Native Americans have
> lower rates (51.6 and 40.9 percent)."
>> From here the study of Facebook has an implicit sample selection bias.
> Minorities are less likely to have access. Individuals that belong to
> minorities groups and have access are a selected group of highly skilled
> and educated that are not different in their social characteristics to the
> whites having access. Facebook results do not reflect the state of social
> and digital inequalities in the population. Furthermore, is blurres the
> real divisions in society.
> Gustavo Mesch, Associate Professor
> University of Haifa.
> Chair, Communication and Information Technologies Section
> American Sociological Association


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