I define my network, my network defines me: Teenagers' identity
expression through different Social Networks
The networks arranged by an individual represent somehow who he is (or
who he would like to be) and by analyzing them we can define values
that describe role and position of this node in a network. Each node
could be defined in terms of influence, centrality, and other metrics
which are important in order to analyze even the nature of the
relationships going on in the network in between the nodes.
Obviuosly, this is true both for on-line and off-line world.
An interesting case of individuals and Social Networking Sites users,
is represented by the teenagers (or even pre-teenagers).They devote
their attention to the presentation of self and they build up
realtionships in order to increase their self-consciousness.
The explosion in social networking sites (such as Facebook,
Friendster, Twitter, Tumblr and so on) is widely regarded as an
exciting opportunity for youth. Profiles have become a common
mechanism for presenting one’s identity online and creating content
and networking online became, a way of managing one’s identity,
lifestyle and social relations.
The aim of the project is to analyze which kind of relationships
teenagers build in different contexts and how they are defined by
them. It will be done comparing all of their identies and networks,
both on-line and off-line. In order to do that it would be useful to
work with a high school class of students in their first year.
In this way it will be possible to obtain a multi level analysis of a
group of people which is put together without any choice by their
side, but have somehow to relate and start networking. It will show
how realtionships will start shaping both in the class, and off-line
in all their SNS accounts, and which differences could be noticed in
each student’s identity depending on his social network.
Another important step of the work will be represented by the
individual interviews with the students in order to obtain by their
description of the relationship they will arrange in the class (during
several moments in the year) a qualitative definition both for ties
and nodes present in their class network. So it will be possible to
link each social network analysis metric to a statement or a quality,
which would turn to be very useful to better understand how identities
are proposed and perceived and and what is the meaning of the
different kinds of interaction.