Social Networks

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The use of social media and its impact for research

Social media is an omnipresent part of everyday life. It provides users with an easy way to engage and connect with others without meeting face-to-face. This form of communication provides a lot of opportunity for companies and individuals to reach a massive audience. What is the purpose of social media, and how does it tie into science? Well, you see, it all depends on who you know and how active your social media presence is. Is there a benefit for sharing research across social media? The benefits of social media stem from active participation and the generation of new attractive content from an individual. Research is about producing new information, and social media offers unique opportunities to present new content.

Full Article

The Use of Social Media and its Impact for Research

Jessica Rogers

Keywords: Social media; Research; Engagement

Contact information: BioResources Process Editor, Department of Forest Biomaterials, North Carolina State University, Campus Box 8005, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA; e-mail: [email protected]

What is Social Media?

In today’s world social media is an ever-present facet of life that surrounds us. Almost every advertisement, whether television, radio, magazine, movie preview, podcast, newspaper, or elsewhere, will mention its social media presence in some way. ‘You can like us on Facebook, Check us out on Instagram,’ or perhaps ‘Watch our channel on YouTube’, are just some of the hooks that companies will provide to further build their brand and increase their visibility. As of January 2019, there were around 7.7 billion people in the world, of which 3.397 billion were active social media users (Smith 2019). Moreover, there are almost one million new users to some form of social media each day, or a new user every 10 seconds; 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube alone every minute (Smith 2019). To summarize, if you have found yourself boycotting the idea of social media, I hate to break it to you but it is here to stay.

The Underlying Purpose of Social Media

For those who do not know, a key theme of social media is ‘engagement’. Have you ever reached out to a company on their social media for any reason? The different social media outlets are simply interactive pathways on the internet that companies and businesses use to form relationships and network with others without leaving one’s desk. As a scientist, it is essential to attend conferences, give lectures, and lead panel discussions to network with others about common science interests. Today, there are an endless amount of resources accessible on the internet at your fingertips that allow you to do the same thing. Twitter first surfaced as a news and social networking site in which users post content and interact with each other through messages called ‘tweets’. The use of hashtags (a type of metadata tag) across all social media platforms allows people to search for certain interests and see all content related to that particular hashtag. This is a quick way to find and engage with people through common interests. Of course, you should still actively participate in your community by attending conventions and conferences, but if you truly seek to engage with more people, then you should not simply ignore the outlet of social media until you try it, as it can connect you with an even larger audience. Think of it this way, your lecture or discussion is most likely already being recorded, so what will you do with that recording?

Social media has a clear and direct purpose for businesses that sell a product or service and are searching for ways to advertise their brand. Of course, there other ways to use social media. Most people use social media to be, well, social, and communicate with family, former colleagues, or keep in touch with old classmates. The idea of a technological way of staying in touch with people is how Facebook was created. Facebook adds 500,000 new accounts each day, which equates to 6 new profiles every second (Smith 2019). So who exactly is in your friends list on Facebook? Who is subscribing to your channel on YouTube? Who is retweeting your tweets? If you want to broaden your impact beyond your discipline, you need to have a strong base of connections in your network.

The average person has 5.54 social media accounts (Smith 2019). Of those accounts, whatever one’s goal is, is it being projected across multiple platforms? Exactly who is engaged? These are all important questions that deal with your potential reach as an individual. The bottom line is if you seek community engagement in what you are doing, you must first be active in that particular community.

Social Media and Research

Now let us change course and focus on a different path of social media, that is where scientists use it to promote their research. The same rule applies. While all social media outlets have the potential for massive reach, it all comes back to a matter of whom you connect with or engage. However, the fast-paced and live aspect of social media can drive skeptical researchers not to publish, but successful reactions and quick responses can increase a researcher’s credibility. Research is about producing new information, and social media offers unique opportunities to present new content.

As a scientist, once you publish your research, you want to share it with as many colleagues and people so that they may read your novel findings. You want to share your hard work with many individuals. Almost all researchers send an email to their colleagues and individuals within their institution, which essentially is the first step in promoting their work. What if you took that one-step further and reached out to the scientific community on social media? You probably already have some form of a social media account and possibly one that relates to the scientific community; ResearchGate is a popular academic social media outlet. ResearchGate is a website that provides scientists with a forum to share and discuss their research as well as find collaborators. If you share your research on your personal account, then the only people that will see it are those whom you connect with. However, if you were active on different community or special interest pages that relate to your area of study and participate in regular discussions with other researchers on these sites, then you may find yourself having a much wider reach. Again, it all stems back to what you wish to accomplish with your research.

What Does that Mean for you?

Before getting started, you must ask yourself what exactly you want to gain from social media. If an increased reach is primarily what you seek, then you must be active in multiple communities related to your specialty. You already stay current on industry news and new research on your own, which is what others may be doing when they discover your research. However, if engagement and stimulated discussions are what you seek, then your active presence is required. Participating and driving discussions and posting content is what ultimately increases your visibility. Sharing and reposting others’ work, and being an active member on social media brings more attention to your profile and can enhance your reputation. A good place to start is with the professional social networking site LinkedIn that allows you to make connections with people based on job interests.

You can always go the old fashioned, tried and true route and send an email about your research, but how many new people reach out to you regarding your work? Maybe next time, try posting your research on a couple of industry pages, tag a few people in the community, and see if you make any new connections or spark any intriguing conversations. Because social media allows you to interact instantly with people across the globe, you may be surprised at who or how many people engage with you.

References Cited

Jaring, P., and Bäck, A. (2017). “How researchers use social media to promote their research and network with industry,”  Technology Information Management Review  7(8), 32-39. DOI: 10.22215/timreview/1098

Smith, K. (2019). “123 Amazing social media statistics and facts,”  brandwatch , (, Accessed 26 March 2019.

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Example Of Social Media Research Paper

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Sociology , Privacy , Social Media , Internet , Networking , Information , Media , Students

Words: 3250

Published: 02/25/2020


Introduction Social media are domain sites where people in any parts of the world can interact freely, using a mix of online multimedia, such as audios, videos, texts, photos, and so on. With social networking site, as they are oftentimes called, individuals can make and exchange digital or electronic contents as they engage messages, texts, audio, etc online. Because part of human nature is the need to communicate, whenever possible, better and faster, social media has brought a lot of changes in peoples’ lives. As social media keep rising in demand, individuals and groups continue to embrace them. Because of the user-friendliness of social media, people who seek to belong in a group do so. For some netizens who target a broad range of audience, for various purposes, they paid attention to what they are sharing. Most often than not, people go to media channels that they have proven or referred to as trustworthy. Even when they did not intend to attract other audiences, they have done so and continue to do so. As a result, they have created for themselves groups, circles, and fan pages.

A. Impact of Social Media Among Students

While the report completed “The Wired Generation” by Wade Jacobsen and Renata Forste demonstrates a study that reviews both the positive and negative effects of online interaction on one's social life, there is still some value that can be placed on the practice when it comes to the educational world. For example, instant messaging and online chat options such as Skype give students the opportunity to talk with each other in ways that were once impossible. If students are separated by distance, these platforms can bring them together to talk about a project in an instant. Groups who are studying for online degrees can complete team projects with group meetings with these video chat options. The effect of these platforms are clearly beneficial for the students who need to come together to form groups to get their educational work completed. Another impact that the growth of social media has had on educational purposes is that many of these platforms are becoming active “sources” for research on particular topics and people. “Youth Engagement in Singapore: The Interplay of Social and Traditional Media” by Marko Skoric and Nathaniel Poor points towards the fact that these outlets are beginning to be used in formal research. Even beyond that, look towards official media outlets such as CNN, Fox News and ESPN use these platforms to verify information that has been released by important personalities. For example, President Barak Obama has an official Twitter account that is used to respond and comment to many of the important issues that affect this country, such as the government shutdown that is the major story in the news. As Skoric and Poor mention in their content, many of these platforms are becoming vessels for social engagement which is another area that intersects with student life. Many institutions of higher learning are requiring students to participate in some form of service project and social media outlets are another opportunity to help those efforts grow. Some organizations are turning to their capabilities to reach their millions of followers through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media outlets allow users to easily participate with major issues and circumvent the “not having time” response. Now, these platforms allow users to vote and donate with a simple click of the button from their phone. The ability to be “socially responsible” with the click of a few buttons is another way that social media has impacted the world of education.

B. Privacy on Social Media

There are those who might feel as though the lack of privacy is not a huge issue; they like to use social networking despite these dangers. Social networking allows them to access other people's information, learn their likes, interests and relationships to others - this grants these users a feeling of community and satisfaction (Felt and Evans, 2008). Others may also enjoy the corporate aspect of social media privacy issues, since targeted marketing based on their interests and activities leads them to products they might be interested in purchasing anyway. All of these are reasons to accept the current state of privacy in social media. Despite the fact that social networking draws people into worlds of connectivity, privacy is actually a legitimate and frightening issue. When sites like Facebook place a value on the sheer number of friends you have, it can be easy to let anyone in to see your timeline or messages (Felt and Evans, 2008). Often, the drive to express your daily life through Facebook status updates or tweets can be so great that it can expose information about yourself to anyone who wants to listen. Add to that the option of reporting and "checking in" to wherever you are, and Facebook can literally track you down to where you are at that moment (Livingstone, 2008). This is a dangerous prospect to consider, especially since companies and third-party organizations will often sell your private information and search histories to the highest bidder (Barnes, 2006). While the computer itself may allow you to work and communicate in physical privacy, the actual information you provide, whether inadvertent or not, is still very easy to access (Felt and Evans, 2008). There are three types of solutions that can be implemented to help keep people's information confidential and identities anonymous - social, technical and legal solutions (Barnes, 2006). In terms of social solutions, the responsibility lies with parents to help regulate children's access to Facebook and other social networking sites - they need to involve themselves more radically with their kids' Internet usage and understand the technology better in order to make themselves available. Schools are also said to play a huge part in keeping this information private - having their own social networking policies for on-site computing helps somewhat by limiting students' access to non-productive sites like social networking services (Felt and Evans, 2008). However, there is more that can be done on the school level towards educating students and social networking users on media literacy through social networking and the maintenance of privacy (Barnes, 2006). Continuing the aforementioned privacy policies is a good idea, but privacy and media literacy courses designed to inform people how their information is used and accessed on Facebook could equip individuals with greater tools to keep themselves safe. Finally, legal solutions to the privacy problem include initiatives like the Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA) (Barnes, 2006). This act mandates Internet filters to be placed in school-located computer libraries, which would limit access to social networking sites. However, despite the good intentions of this bill, further action is needed to protect privacy. Given the aforementioned benefits of social networking, complete censorship is not the answer; instead, students must be given the ability to police themselves (Livingstone, 2008). Becoming educated on what can happen to them on social networking, instead of allowing them to find out the hard way, permits them to exercise caution when participating in activities on social networks. This grants the user with a greater level of confidence,as well as the freedom to enjoy the media literacy, interconnectivity, and sociopolitical power that social networking has to offer. C. Marketing on Social Media What most businesses do is to create their own websites to attract a wider audience as well as to promote their products. Marketing experts vouch that social media is one of the best ways to generate income because a lot of people are always connected to the internet, the business can get a big boost out of the free advertising it can get from social networking sites. Thus, the more popular a business or a website is, the more income it will generate through advertising. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have millions of active users worldwide and tapping on possible clients from both sites can do great wonders for businesses. Because of this, some business owners are even willing to pay more for a Facebook ad rather than investing on cheaper, but unpopular networking sites. Keeping the page active with daily postings also helps boost the image of the company, considering that those who are already subscribed to the page can view the business information anytime (Hausman). In the same light, social media is one way for business owners and customers to maintain good relationships. Both can follow each other on social media and post questions and answers that other customers might find helpful or interesting as well. It may be in the form of a question or a blog wherein readers can later post feedback to start meaningful conversations (Hausman). Companies should also ensure to check out what competitors are doing with their online business presence so that they know where else to improve. D. Social Media Growth and Its Impact in the Middle East As previously mentioned herein, the growth of social media has impacted on the Middle East in a number of ways. More importantly, the evolution of social media across various countries has made people from these countries yarn for change with regard to their ways of life. Precisely, social media platforms have played a comprehensive role in influencing change (Stewart 10), whereby people have become more empowered than they were before. Worth noting is the fact that social media platforms have provided an avenue in which the people can share ideas pertaining to issues that affect them on a daily basis. Through such sharing of ideas, the people of these countries have become more tolerant despite their ideological differences. Overall, social media has influenced change in the Middle East in that it has empowered them to become more open and tolerate differing points of views held by people of varying ethnic and religious origins. On another note social media has had an impact on some countries in that it has evolved into a voice for the people of the Middle East. Precisely, people have utilized social media platforms to air their concerns, particularly on issues regarding governance. Certainly, this has enhanced democracy for the people, who in the past have fallen victims of dictatorial regimes. In fact, social media platforms, especially Facebook, and Twitter have contributed to the toppling of regimes that did not address issues jeopardizing the daily lives of people from the Middle East (Nabi& Mary 24). Evidently, new technological innovations and social media platforms have made big contributions in assuring the success of different uprising in some countries. Many at times, these uprising seek to enhance democracy for the people of these countries. This analysis justifies the impact aligned with enhancing democracy that social media platforms have had on populations. Another notable impact that social media has had on the Middle East aligns with the fact that it has resulted in a slight change in gender roles. Notably, populations emanating from this part of world are conservative in nature. This can be accredited to the fascinating admiration they have on their Islam religion, which divides roles based on gender issues. However, social media platforms have instilled liberal views on these populations and this has resulted in a change of gender roles. Precisely, social media platforms have enlightened people, particularly women. Such enlighten has resulted in the provision of more opportunities for women. This is contrary to the past whereby women were often oppressed and given discriminatory roles. In addition, social media has enlightened Middle Eastern women to become agents of change in their communities. This has resulted in provision of more leadership opportunities for women (Sakr 20), contrary to the past whereby women were not allocated such roles. Certainly, the growth of social media offers immense opportunities for the growth of businesses across various contexts. Precisely, social media platforms provide viable avenues that enhance marketing of different business ventures. This results in an increase in business revenue, which is in a consequent rise in the economy. With regards to this, different countries in the Middle East have benefited immensely due to the growth of social media platforms. In fact, the economies of different countries such as the United Arab Emirates have grown due to the fact that various institutions running businesses in these countries have and continue to utilize social media platforms to enhance their employee prospects and boost their skill sets (Noor & John 82). Overall social media has impacted the economy of Middles Eastern countries in that it has offered support for various businesses; hence, increasing business profits, which end up supporting the economic growth of these countries.

Social media has offered to us nothing but better and faster ways of communication and transaction, whether personally, interpersonally, business matters, government, etc., because of the timely and convenient mode of viewing, sharing, collecting, storing, and transmitting data. Young individuals and other internet users simply enter the social media that they want to visit. All that they have to keep in mind is some basic understanding and application of protecting personal or group data/information while engaging, buying, or doing other internet transactions. This is because there is what we call identity theft when kids simply give up freely their personal information over the internet. Thus, even when social media provide better and faster ways of communication, privacy online should never be sacrificed at the expense of enjoying one’s moment over the net. With social media, the gargantuan information seems not enough: from a megabyte of video uploads to tweets. When millions and billions of people across the world share information, some of the recipients are the young generations. They are amazed at the constant influx of information that they want to get. At a mouse click or press on a keypad, they can type their own messages, download photos and videos, and a lot more. When they want to learn something about their favorite celebrities, all they need is to search using Google, Youtube, or like or ask/send friend request. Having said so, what is really important that social media have brought about to people is online presence, learning, collaboration with peers, and a lot more. By means of social media, individuals learn the importance of netiquettes, too. These are nothing but the positive effects of social media when it comes to better communication. Social media are not simply used to send, upload, download, share, etc. info in superficial ways. When students use their learning apps, whatever their thoughts are about a particular subject matter in school, for instance, can be shared with others within their circle, group, or class. Because of these social technologies, children have come to realize that they learn more and productively. Enhanced learning outcomes through enhanced knowledge sharing has been the key element why kids want to use their electronic devices. Educational learning materials and resources are more colorful, visually stimulating, and engaging.

Individually and/or collectively, peoples’ lifestyles are affected online social media. Around the globe, social media are transforming how people spend their time contributing whatever they know and feel. Personally, they find solace chatting with people online, uploading creations (e.g., images, videos), making online purchases, and performing other electronic transactions. In most cases, there are internet users who access for free online materials and related resources. The worse scenario is when some families spend most of their time apart because of the social media. Although social media have become tools that brought forth good as well as bad repercussions, their contributions and effects to the world at large cannot simply be undermined. Worldwide, individuals, companies and governments have used the social media to advance their interests and benefit from it. There are those on the other side of the global spectrum where social media mostly often used to generate much profit whether legitimately or not. Even individuals, in their own home space, benefit from social media one way of another. It is up for anyone whether they will use these media for their own benefits or to take into account how each of us, in our own little ways, help other people. Despite anything contrary to the negative effects of social media, social media remain part of people’s everyday lives. However, parents, guardians, teachers, and other adults ought to guide younger people what contents to view or not given their delicate moral, social, spiritual, physical, etc. development. Because the world we live becomes smaller each day, it is just fitting that, with enhanced technologies and newer forms of social media, children should be the first to come in mind when it comes to online privacy, safety, security, and protection . Thus, whether social media have positive or negative impact on children and teens, adults should make it a point that, as members of a constantly evolving global community, whatever is shared or to be shared should be mostly worthwhile. This should be the rule rather than the exception. At the end of the day, we can still say with confidence that, despite the negative impact social media have on us, it nonetheless brought us closer together in a world that needs positive interconnectivity.

Works Cited

Barnes, Susan. "A privacy paradox: Social networking in the United States." First Monday 11.9 (2006). Web. <>. Felt, Adrienne and David Evans. "Privacy protection for social networking APIs." Web 2.0 Security and Privacy (2008). Print. Greene, Ilana. Three Ways to Make Money from Social Media. 8 April 2013. Web. 7 December 2013. <>. Hausman, Angela. 10 Tips For Making Money With Social Media. 19 April 2013. Web. 7 December 2013. <>. Howard, Philip and Muzammil Hussain. Democracy’s Fourth Wave: Digital Media and Arab Spring. London: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print. Livingstone, Sonia. "Taking risky opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers' use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression." New media & society 10.3 (2008): 393-411. Print. Nabi, Robin and Mary Oliver. The Sage Handbook of Media Processes and Effects. California: SAGE, 2009. Print. Noor, Al-Deen and John Hendricks. Social Media: Usage and Impact. Madison: Lexington Books, 2012. Print. Sakr, Naomi. Women and Media in the Middle East: Power Through Self-Expression. London : Tauris, 2004. Print. Skoric, Marko and Nathaniel Poor. "Youth Engagement in Singapore: The Interplay of Social and Traditional Media." Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 57.2 (2013): 187. Web. Stewart, Dona. The Middle East today: Political, Geographical and Cultural Perspectives. Sydney: Routledge, 2012. Print. Wade, Jacobsen and Renata Forste. "The Wired Generation: Academic and Social Outcomes of Electronic Media Use Among University Students." Cyberpsychol Behavior Social Network 14.5 (2011): 275-80. Web.

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125 Social Networking Essay Topics

🏆 best essay topics on social networking, 👍 good social networking research topics & essay examples, 🎓 most interesting social networking research titles, 💡 simple social networking essay ideas, ❓ social networking research questions.

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Go to journal home page - Social Networks

Social Networks

About the journal.

An International Journal of Social Network Analysis

Aims & Scope

Social Networks is an interdisciplinary and international quarterly. It provides a common forum for representatives of anthropology, sociology, history, social psychology, political science, human geography, biology, economics, communications science and other disciplines who share an interest in …

Martin Everett

The University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom

Thomas Valente

University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Latest published

Articles in press, most downloaded, most popular, chronic illness and social network bridging in later life, closeness centrality via the condorcet principle, scaling bias in pooled exponential random graph models, “defriending” in a polarized age: political and racial homophily and tie dissolution, uses and limitations of dichotomous aggregate relational data, network dynamics and its impact on innovation outcomes: r&d consortia in the dutch water sector, structure of personal networks and cognitive abilities: a study on a sample of italian older adults, impact of the tariff concessions of the rcep agreement on the structure and evolution mechanism of manufacturing trade networks, more from social networks, announcements, inclusion and diversity statement - social networks, special issues and article collections, data collection for social networks research, data collection for social network research: challenging contexts, ethical concerns, and new approaches, recent ethical challenges in social network analysis, social network research on negative ties and signed graphs.

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Social networking sites and our lives.

Questions have been raised about the social impact of widespread use of social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, and Twitter. Do these technologies isolate people and truncate their relationships? Or are there benefits associated with being connected to others in this way? The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project decided to examine SNS in a survey that explored people’s overall social networks and how use of these technologies is related to trust, tolerance, social support, and community and political engagement.

The findings presented here paint a rich and complex picture of the role that digital technology plays in people’s social worlds. Wherever possible, we seek to disentangle whether people’s varying social behaviors and attitudes are related to the different ways they use social networking sites, or to other relevant demographic characteristics, such as age, gender and social class.

The number of those using social networking sites has nearly doubled since 2008 and the population of SNS users has gotten older.

In this Pew Internet sample, 79% of American adults said they used the internet and nearly half of adults (47%), or 59% of internet users, say they use at least one of SNS. This is close to double the 26% of adults (34% of internet users) who used a SNS in 2008. Among other things, this means the average age of adult-SNS users has shifted from 33 in 2008 to 38 in 2010. Over half of all adult SNS users are now over the age of 35. Some 56% of SNS users now are female.

Facebook dominates the SNS space in this survey: 92% of SNS users are on Facebook; 29% use MySpace, 18% used LinkedIn and 13% use Twitter.

There is considerable variance in the way people use various social networking sites: 52% of Facebook users and 33% of Twitter users engage with the platform daily, while only 7% of MySpace and 6% of LinkedIn users do the same.

On Facebook on an average day:

Facebook users are more trusting than others.

We asked people if they felt “that most people can be trusted.” When we used regression analysis to control for demographic factors, we found that the typical internet user is more than twice as likely as others to feel that people can be trusted. Further, we found that Facebook users are even more likely to be trusting. We used regression analysis to control for other factors and found that a Facebook user who uses the site multiple times per day is 43% more likely than other internet users and more than three times as likely as non-internet users to feel that most people can be trusted.

Facebook users have more close relationships.

The average American has just over two discussion confidants (2.16) – that is, people with whom they discuss important matters. This is a modest, but significantly larger number than the average of 1.93 core ties reported when we asked this same question in 2008. Controlling for other factors we found that someone who uses Facebook several times per day averages 9% more close, core ties in their overall social network compared with other internet users.

Facebook users get more social support than other people.

We looked at how much total support, emotional support, companionship, and instrumental aid adults receive. On a scale of 100, the average American scored 75/100 on a scale of total support, 75/100 on emotional support (such as receiving advice), 76/100 in companionship (such as having people to spend time with), and 75/100 in instrumental aid (such as having someone to help if they are sick in bed).

Internet users in general score 3 points higher in total support, 6 points higher in companionship, and 4 points higher in instrumental support. A Facebook user who uses the site multiple times per day tends to score an additional 5 points higher in total support, 5 points higher in emotional support, and 5 points higher in companionship, than internet users of similar demographic characteristics. For Facebook users, the additional boost is equivalent to about half the total support that the average American receives as a result of being married or cohabitating with a partner.

Facebook users are much more politically engaged than most people.

Our survey was conducted over the November 2010 elections. At that time, 10% of Americans reported that they had attended a political rally, 23% reported that they had tried to convince someone to vote for a specific candidate, and 66% reported that they had or intended to vote. Internet users in general were over twice as likely to attend a political meeting, 78% more likely to try and influence someone’s vote, and 53% more likely to have voted or intended to vote. Compared with other internet users, and users of other SNS platforms, a Facebook user who uses the site multiple times per day was an additional two and half times more likely to attend a political rally or meeting, 57% more likely to persuade someone on their vote, and an additional 43% more likely to have said they would vote.

Facebook revives “dormant” relationships.

In our sample, the average Facebook user has 229 Facebook friends. They reported that their friends list contains:

Over 31% of Facebook friends cannot be classified into these categories. However, only 7% of Facebook friends are people users have never met in person, and only 3% are people who have met only one time. The remainder is friends-of-friends and social ties that are not currently active relationships, but “dormant” ties that may, at some point in time, become an important source of information.

Social networking sites are increasingly used to keep up with close social ties.

Looking only at those people that SNS users report as their core discussion confidants, 40% of users have friended all of their closest confidants. This is a substantial increase from the 29% of users who reported in our 2008 survey that they had friended all of their core confidants.

MySpace users are more likely to be open to opposing points of view.

We measured “perspective taking,” or the ability of people to consider multiple points of view. There is no evidence that SNS users, including those who use Facebook, are any more likely than others to cocoon themselves in social networks of like-minded and similar people, as some have feared.

Moreover, regression analysis found that those who use MySpace have significantly higher levels of perspective taking. The average adult scored 64/100 on a scale of perspective taking, using regression analysis to control for demographic factors, a MySpace user who uses the site a half dozen times per month tends to score about 8 points higher on the scale.

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Table of contents, 7 facts about americans and instagram, social media use in 2021, social media fact sheet, 64% of americans say social media have a mostly negative effect on the way things are going in the u.s. today, share of u.s. adults using social media, including facebook, is mostly unchanged since 2018, most popular.

About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts .

Research Paper on Social Media Use: Global Increase in the Recent Past

Research Paper on Social Media Use: Global Increase in the Recent Past


In the recent past, social media use has been on the increase across the globe, particularly among the young population aged between 15 to 35 years (Asur, & Huberman, 2010). Statistics have also indicated that social media users have increased by approximately 21% between the year 2005and 2007(Asur, & Huberman, 2010). This number has, however, continued to increase with the recent statistics recorded in the year 2014, indicating that there are approximately 2.8 billion social media users across the globe(Asur, & Huberman, 2010). Social media tends to be the application or website that is created to enable people to share different information contents quickly, efficiently and effectively across the globe. The use of social media to share opinions, photos, events and other key things has transformed the way in which people live and relate with other people within the society. People in the united states and around the globe tend to use social media for different reason and purposes. For instance, a study conducted on more than one thousand 13 to 17-year-old students in the united states found out that, approximately 28% of the study population indicated that they use social media since it makes them feel more outgoing(Abe & Jordan, 2013). While 29% of the study population indicated that social media makes them feel less shy when interacting with people within the community. Only approximately 8% of the study population indicated that social media made them feel more introverted and less outgoing (Abe & Jordan, 2013). On the other hand, when it comes to relationships, approximately 52% of the teens indicated that social media enabled them to improve their relationship (Moran, Seaman, & Tinti-Kane, 2011). The aim of this study is to asses the use of social media by students and its impact in classrooms.

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Use of Social Media in Schools

The use and application of social media has continued to significantly influence the students' academic life across the country. Numerous Learning institutions in the united states have adopted social media technology in classes with the intention of improving or enhancing collaboration, critical thinking, and knowledge in various fields or platforms. Currently, social media has been fully accepted in almost all higher institutions such as colleges and universities in the United States thus making social media a platform where the students can connect with their lecturers, fellow students within the school and other higher authorities within the school (Abe & Jordan, 2013)l. The university and college student now have the freedom to spend most of their time in various social media platform socializing with whoever they wish to interact with. In most cases, the various social media platforms usually enable the students to express their view to other people, create new friendships, and even create new identities within the school setting. The most significant role that social media has played in the higher institutions is to enhance the students' performance level since they can now easily access any information they need effectively and efficiently. According to research, the students who frequently use social media tend to have better memory and are also considered to be more innovative, this mainly because the media technology usually exposes them to new research avenues that encourage the student to become more creative and innovative (Abe & Jordan, 2013).

Impact of Social Media in the Classroom

Helps the student to increase their knowledge in classroom..

Social media tends to have the capability to enhance students' knowledge within very few seconds or minutes. The students only have to scroll through the news feeds provided in various media platforms in order to get regular and timely updates on the current events and news within the country and across the globe. The students can also immediately search for any crucial learning information from social media using the hashtag #news. Research on social media use found out that the percentage of students who uses various social media sites as a learning tool improved from approximately 33% in the year 2011 to 56% in the year 2015 (Duggan, Ellison, Lampe, Lenhart, & Madden, 2015). This research report confirmed that schools are allowing their students to use various social media platforms to increase their knowledge. In most schools, the teachers and other educational stakeholders have noticed that the use various social media platforms in the classroom tend to be an effective way of enhancing the students' knowledge on the current events within the country. However, in order to ensure that social media is used specifically for educational purposes, the teachers have to set rules on when the media sites can and cannot be used. This rules should strictly be implemented in school to avoid or prevent the students from using social media for other unethical purposes, particularly when in school.

It Enables the Students to Develop a Sense of Community

Most schools across the country have decided to use various media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with the entire community surrounding the school such as the parents, staffs and other students within the community. Most school heads have indicated that one of the main benefit of these media platforms in enabling the student to develop a sense of community in that they usually gave room or facilities real-time updates. For instance, the social media sites can be used to update the patents, students, and teachers on the examination dates, closing dates(Perrin, 2015). The media platforms can also be used to stream other informative things such as the educational talks from parents that can help to improve the student's awareness level. On the other hand, school teachers tend to appreciate the use of social media in class since they can easily communicate with the parent or the student when the need arises. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter tends to make it easy to give and receive instant feedback from students when either in class or at home. Therefore social media tends to be an effective learning and interaction tool in class since it improves or promotes various things between the teachers, parents and the students; some of these things include communication, interaction, collaboration, and social and peer learning.

It Helps To Improve Student's Participation

One of the greatest or most important impacts of social media use in the classroom is that it encourages students to participate effectively. Reports indicate that in a classroom setting, there are some students who tend to find it hard to verbally talk or respond to questions (Perrin, 2015). To ensure that such students are actively involved in classwork and discussions, the school allows them to use the social media sites where they tend to find it easy to express themselves. A study aimed at assessing the student response and active involvement in class found out that approximately 10 % of the total students in a class usually have a hard time engaging in verbal talks in class (Duggan et al., 2015). This study also found out these less active students in class tend to be very engaging and active in various social media sites whereby they give strong opinions and contributions on various issues. Therefore, application or use of social media in class may help students to become confidents when speaking out their opinions without fear. Social media also promotes collaboration within the class; for instance, the students can engage in-group discussions on various social media sites when either in class or at home. By doing so, they are able to share their opinions and reason out as a group, thus enabling them to excel in their schoolwork.

It Enables the Students to Get Help From Other People.

Social media sites tend to be useful to students, particularly in a class setting since it enables them to seek help or clarifications from their peer or other relevant experts such as teachers. For instance, a student may not have understood a particular point or theory; therefore, he or she takes the initiative of using various Media sites such as Twitter or Facebook to engage the instructor to get a more a clear explanation to the information or theory that he or she did not understand. Using social media for such purposes in class tends to enhance the child's performance since the child can get clarifications at any particular moment. The social media sites tend to have a feature that enables the students to private their messages to the teacher or the specific person they wish to get clarification from. This feature enables the student to confidently open up when seeking help without fearing that other students or teachers will see what he or she is seeking clarification for or who she or he is communicating with. The social media platforms also enable the students to interact with other students either from school or home, particularly when working on group projects or assignments. Social media tends to make it easy to share ideas and analyze the ideas on the group project or assignment.

Helps the Student to Build a Strong Relationship or Bond With the Relevant Stakeholders

All stakeholders in education, such as teachers and parents, tend to have a skin in the game, whether in terms of finances, time, and engagement. All the stakeholders have placed some value in investing on the student's education like it is the case in other business or investments. The social media tends to enlighten the relevant stakeholders on how they can invest further in the child's education through posting the student achievements on various social media sites. For instance, the students can post the progress of a particular educational project that is meant to boost their performance. The posts can be made in form of images or videos that show the student taking part in the respective project or activity. For example, the student may post a video of themselves working on a garden project such as vegetable farming. Posting such a video may motivate one of the parents to offer financial donations to the students to enable them to improve or expand their farming project. Using social media to build the strong bond tends to be effective since it helps to increase the student's success level or performance. Recent reports indicated that approximately 60 per cent of the schools in the united states use this strategy to encourage the relevant stakeholders to make their contribution towards the project to enhance the child chances of success(Moran et al., 2011).

The use of social media has been on the increase in the United States and across the globe, particularly among the young population. The use of various social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook to share opinions, photos, events and other key things has transformed the way in which people live and relate with other people within the society. Social media tends to be used for various reasons or purposes across the country, for instance, some people use it since it makes them more outgoing while others use it since it enables them to become less shy when talking to people. in the recent past, Social media use has been adopted in various schools and higher learning institutions in the united states. The adoption of these media platforms has brought about significant changes in how students, teachers and parents interact, collaborate on various issues involving education and also improved the students' performance level. Some of the key impacts of social media use in classrooms include; first,it helps the student to build a strong relationship or bond with the relevant stakeholde...

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Academic social networking websites

Over the last two decades, the development of new and readily accessible means of communication, particularly the growth of social networking platforms, have changed the way we view the world and interact with others. Individuals now have the unprecedented opportunities to connect with peers and colleagues, seek out new information and disseminate new ideas to the broader public. For the scientific community, social networking platforms provide a low-cost way to create a personal brand or identity (Dutta, 2010) and develop a professional online presence (Donelan, 2015). In this article, we will discuss the benefits of managing your online presence in order to leverage social networking platforms to advance your scientific endeavors and professional career.

Become an active contributor on ResearchGate, and Google Scholar

A variety of academic social networking platforms, including ResearchGate , and Google Scholar , have gained popularity over the past decade (Ovadia, 2014). A common capability of many of these academic social networking websites is to provide an online repository to which users can upload and share research papers. Below, we describe in detail the functionality of some of these academic social networking websites and their relative benefits for professional development.

ResearchGate is an academic social networking website that gives researchers the option to upload journal articles, conference papers, posters, data and code to an online repository. This can be particularly useful for locating conference materials such as posters and slide decks that are not archived in other online databases. ResearchGate users also receive analytics on their publications including the number of times their papers have been read and cited by other users on ResearchGate. 

ResearchGate provides community interaction features that help distinguish it from other platforms. Users can:

Additionally, ResearchGate allows researchers to create project logs that can be used to update peers on current projects, attract potential co-authors or request submissions for journal special issues. is a similar resource that allows users to create a personal profile, upload papers, request feedback, follow researchers, send personal messages to other researchers and view analytics on your papers. Users on can also import contacts from Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Google to find colleagues who already have profiles, thus connecting many different networking tools described.

Before using these services, however, it is important for researchers to check the archiving policies for each journal before choosing to upload or share papers; if researchers upload a journal publication that violates these copyright policies, they may receive a takedown notice from the publisher (Howard, 2013). Specifically, researchers should check their publishing agreement, which can often be found on the journal’s website or in email correspondence. The SHERPA/RoMEO journal database also contains a search tool where researchers can look up publishers' copyright policies regarding authors archiving publications online. Fortunately, of the 2,318 published articles listed in the SHERPA/RoMEO, 80 percent allow at least some form of self-archiving (e.g., either preprint or postprint; SHERPA, 2017). 

Google Scholar provides a search engine that can be used to identify hyperlinks to articles that are publically available or may be obtained through institutional libraries. Users who choose to create a personal Google Scholar profile can access their citations per year metrics. Articles uploaded on ResearchGate, or other databases can also be linked to your Google Scholar profile so that readers can find hyperlinks to all of your work. Google Scholar also has a “Scholar Button” that users can install on Chrome, Firefox or Safari web browsers to quickly search for articles without typing in a web address (one can download this button by clicking the "Setting" button on their Google Scholar homepage, then selecting Button on the sidebar to the left). If you have questions about how to use Google Scholar to conduct a literature search, check out the article “ Literature search tips and tricks ” from the November 2016 issue of Psychological Science Agenda (Mumper, 2016). Google Scholar also compiles a list of top publications in each discipline based on journal impact (users can access data by clicking the "Metrics" button on their Google Scholar homepage).

Using other social networking platforms to market yourself

Other, more traditional forms of social networking, such as Twitter or LinkedIn , can also be used to manage one’s online presence, promote research and form new professional connections (Ovadia, 2013). Although these platforms are usually viewed as informal means of communication, they may also be used to interact with other researchers and disseminate research to a broader public audience. To see how psychologists have used Twitter to build their online presence, check out the British Psychological Society’s (2015) list of the 100 Most Followed Psychologists and Neuroscientists on Twitter and Paul Thoresen’s (2015) list of 80 #IOPsych Pros to Follow on Twitter .

Professional networking websites, such as LinkedIn (and in some cases students’ university website profiles), can be used to upload your curriculum vitae, highlight your research interests and previous accomplishments. However, it is also important to show that you are a person (i.e., not a research cyborg) with interests outside of research/professional activities. Some of these interests (e.g., volunteer work) can be highlighted on these professional networking websites and provide the opportunity to present yourself as a well-rounded individual.

Lastly and most importantly, be mindful of the public content you post on social media (particularly Facebook and Twitter). In all likelihood, having a strong positive online presence alone will not result in landing your dream job (usually, this requires a combination of knowledge, hard work, productivity, social skill and luck). However, not filtering the public content on your social networking platforms may cause universities or companies to think twice before hiring you when you are on the job market (see Brown & Vaughn, 2011; Smith & Kidder, 2010).

There is no denying that technological and communication advances have changed the way we make connections and access information. Face-to-face interaction is still crucial, but social networking has, in a way, “changed the rules of the game.” Platforms such as ResearchGate,, Google Scholar, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook can be utilized to create a personal brand, disseminate scientific findings and connect with researchers worldwide.

Brown, V.R., & Vaughn, E.D. (2011). The writing on the (Facebook) wall: The use of social networking sites in hiring decisions. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26 (2), 219-225.

Donelan, H. (2015). Social media for professional development and networking opportunities in academia. Journal of Further and Higher Education, 40 (5), 1-24.

Dutta, S. (2010). What’s your personal social media strategy. Harvard Business Review, 88 (11), 127-130.

Howard, J. (2013). Posting your latest article? You might have to take it down. Chronicle of Higher Education, 60 (16), A12.

Mumper, M. (2016, September). Literature search tips and tricks: Techniques for effectively using Google Scholar and PsycINFO. Psychological Science Agenda, 30 (8). Retrieved Feb. 14, 2017, from .

Ovadia, S. (2013). When social media meets scholarly publishing. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 32 (3), 194-198.

Ovadia, S. (2014). ResearchGate and Academic social networks. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 33 (3), 165-169.

SHERPA. (2017, Jan. 12). RoMEO Statistics. Retrieved Jan. 12, 2017, from .

The British Psychological Society. (2015, Nov. 6). The 100 most followed Psychologists and Neuroscientists on Twitter [Blog post]. Retrieved Jan. 12, 2017, from .

Smith, W.P., & Kidder, D.L. (2010). You’ve been tagged!(Then again, maybe not): Employers and Facebook. Business Horizons, 53 (5), 491-499.

Thoresen, P. (2015, Dec. 7). 80 #IOPsych pros to follow on Twitter [Blog post]. Retrieved Jan. 12, 2017, from .

About the authors

Joshua C. Palmer

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or policies of APA.

PSA is the monthly e-newsletter of the APA Science Directorate. It is read by psychologists, students, academic administrators, journalists and policymakers in Congress and federal science agencies.

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Social Media Research Paper

Research papers on social media are becoming a norm for almost every college and university. The advancement of the digital age has made these assignments inevitable. Furthermore, emerging issues and trends in social media add fuel to the matter.

If you have a research paper on social media and wonder where to start, this post is the perfect place to begin. On top of the outline and structure, we have social media research paper ideas to keep you going. Read on.

How To Write Social Media Research Papers

Many students underrate writing such a research paper since it does not seem to deal with a technical aspect. Nevertheless, the fact remains that without the necessary writing ideas and expert writing tips and tricks at hand, it would be impossible to complete it.

Let us begin with the outline:

Read and understand the research topic on social media that you are handling Brainstorm to find the necessary points for your paper Please write down the main points and narrow down your research to them Have a skeleton of how you intend to write your paper Begin writing your social media research paper Proof-read to make sure that your paper is devoid of any errors

For an influential social media paper, currency and relevance should be at the core of your writing. Make it as practical as possible to make your reader relate to it. Ensure that your paper is in tandem with the structure below:


Here, you’ll mention your social media topic and state its thesis. Any essay or research paper is dependent on the thesis statement. Therefore, as you write your introduction, ensure that the thesis is clear and precise. It will help you determine the arguments to include in the body paragraphs of your research paper.

Social Research Paper Body Paragraphs

The body comprises paragraphs, each with arguments supporting the thesis statement. Include facts, data, examples, and any other pieces of evidence to prove the topic sentence.

A typical research paper will have the body made up of the Literature Review, Research Methods, Findings and Analysis, Discussion, and limitations. Each part should contribute to the overall intended meaning stated in the thesis statement.

Conclusion of A Social Media Research Paper

It is a summary of your main arguments. You also restate your paper’s main thesis statement, assuring the reader that the paper’s stated goal has been achieved. Some social media research questions in conclusion include:

With that, you are ready for a top-tier social media research paper!

Social Media Research Topics – Facebook

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189 Social Media Research Paper Topics To Top Your Paper

189 Social Media Research Paper Topics

Social media has been around since the late 1990s and refers to the means of interaction and communication between groups of people from all over the world. It allows them to create, share, and exchange information, ideas, and conversations in virtual communities over the internet. Society embraced social media and it was made popular by individuals that wanted to connect with others but quickly became a tool used by businesses and organizations to promote products and services and is now a vital component in building relationships, broadcasting, and marketing at small- and large-scale levels.

Different Types Of Social Media

Social media is an important tool used to build relationships, spread messages, and market oneself. People throughout the world use the internet to connect, but with so much traffic individuals, businesses, and organizations need to find smarter ways to generate leads and improve traffic to themselves.

There are five types of social media business tools that help achieve awareness including social networking, photo sharing, video sharing, digital media, and blogging. Some of the most popular applications include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and WhatsApp. There are dozens more that offer a blend of features people use to build a community of followers and communicate messages.

What Goes Into The Structure Of Great Social Media Paper

The components of social media as technology change rapidly but the elements that go into the structure of a great research paper on the subject stay the same. Social media research papers should follow the same structure that a research project in other subjects utilizes. This includes an introduction, a research method section, a results section, a discussion section, and a conclusion. Additional components include an abstract and a bibliography placed at each end of the research paper. A good research paper will be informative and argumentative, but most importantly will be interesting by exploring a social media research paper thesis that goes into a new area of the discipline.

Excellent Social Media Research Topics

The key to writing any great research paper is to explore, research, and discuss a great topic. And when it comes to developing a great topic, we understand that many students struggle. Some students don’t have time to search the web or reread class notes. Other students aren’t inspired by some of the information out there and want to branch out with research questions on social media that veritably make an impact on their instructors. Our team of academic experts has culled a list of social networking topics that can inspire students to put together a great research project. We have broken them down into several categories and we encourage students to share them and modify them to fit any academic assignment. If you want more professional help, you can buy college research paper and enjoy alternative activities that you love.

Easy Research Topics About Social Media

When you need to wrap up an assignment in a few days, you will want to pick an easy topic to research and write about. The following ideas are great for a social media paper you need to hand in on a tight deadline:

Research Papers On Social Media For College

At the college level, you will likely be working on a research topic on social media that runs about 5 to 10 pages. The assignment will require you to conduct ample research online and at the library. Our team put together this list of social media paper topics for consideration:

Social Networks Topics For Graduate Students

If you are working on a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in graduate school, you will need a social media research topic that you can use for a capstone project. The following media topics are great for large projects that can take several months to complete and require a lot of research:

Popular List Of Social Networks Topics For 2022

The following list of ideas deals with the effect of social media on everything from society to the economy to politics. Students will be able to find plenty of information online and at the library. It’s important to start research early to ensure you can find your resources:

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Social Media and Mental Health

95 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2021 Last revised: 7 Dec 2022

Luca Braghieri

Bocconi University - Department of Decision Sciences

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics

Alexey Makarin

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: July 28, 2022

The diffusion of social media coincided with a worsening of mental health conditions among adolescents and young adults in the United States, giving rise to speculation that social media might be detrimental to mental health. In this paper, we provide quasi-experimental estimates of the impact of social media on mental health by leveraging a unique natural experiment: the staggered introduction of Facebook across U.S. colleges. Our analysis couples data on student mental health around the years of Facebook's expansion with a generalized difference-in-differences empirical strategy. We find that the roll-out of Facebook at a college increased symptoms of poor mental health, especially depression. We also find that, among students predicted to be most susceptible to mental illness, the introduction of Facebook led to increased utilization of mental healthcare services. Lastly, we find that, after the introduction of Facebook, students were more likely to report experiencing impairments to academic performance resulting from poor mental health. Additional evidence on mechanisms suggests that the results are due to Facebook fostering unfavorable social comparisons.

Keywords: social media, mental heath, Facebook, depression, social comparisons

JEL Classification: D12, D72, D90, I10, L82, L8

Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation

Bocconi University - Department of Decision Sciences ( email )

Via Roentgen 1 Milan, 20136 Italy

Tel Aviv University - Eitan Berglas School of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 39040 Ramat Aviv, Tel Aviv, 69978 Israel

Alexey Makarin (Contact Author)

Massachusetts institute of technology (mit) - sloan school of management ( email ).

100 Main Street E62-416 Cambridge, MA 02142 United States

HOME PAGE: http://

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Via Sallustiana, 62 Rome, Lazio 00187 Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London United Kingdom

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Social Media Research Paper: Geo-social Contents. Free Essay.

Social Media Research Paper: Geo-social Contents. Free Essay.

Research paper on social media

Social media advent has revolutionized communication. The increasing use of smartphone and now the wearable device is taking this revolution to yet another level. Yet studies in social media presence is not factoring in these changes appropriately to keep abreast of changes. This report that was commissioned to provide suggestions on social media module adjustments presents two recommendations for GIS studies and topic discovery and evolution studies. The author brings to attention the current changes to social media communication that necessitate the two areas of knowledge suggested to equip students with the appropriate knowledge to meet awaiting career opportunities.

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Despite these possible adjustments to the current module, the author admits challenges that underlay each study suggested and thus recommends a way to mitigate against these challenges.

The author then concludes with remarks on how the new approach will enhance knowledge level among graduates to put them in a better position to tackle future workplace and social welfare requirements.


More than ever before, social media presence is finding new meaning and new use in terms of understanding the world around us, social issues in various settings and approaches that could result in potentially lasting social impact. However, the use of social media presence in this manner requires extra knowledge not available in our current social media module.

Purpose and Scope

The report is meant to provide suggestion on two most appropriate topics to be added into the current social media modules to prepare students for awaits them after graduation. The author reviews current literature to pick out two topics of wider interest that would be invaluable additions to the course module. While the topics may constitute a whole course in the undergraduate program, the author suggests a moderation to these courses to make them part of the social media module for a well-integrated approach.


In mapping out the two courses, the author makes two assumptions. First, the author assumes that there will be rapid changes in the areas identified at least for the next two years so that their integration may be complete should the idea be bought. Second, the author also assumes that the two courses will work to cover the current gap in knowledge among ongoing students and graduates over what constitutes real-life application of social media knowledge in the context of 21st century. Beyond these two assumptions, others factors should be held constant.

The author uses empirical analysis of available literature in the field of social media studies. Through this analysis, the author hopes to present well-balanced findings that reflect on currency, urgency and validity of the suggestions. The articles reviewed are peer-reviewed and from scholarly journals to ensure the credibility of the information presented. To come with these articles, the author searched the Google Scholar using the key word "social medial" and a combination of these words and others such as "21st studies", "challenges" and "solutions." The author also consulted widely with standard organizations such as IEEE through their websites to study new standards for Web 2.0 technologies upon which social media is built. All these pieces of information were then brought together and discussed authoritatively, before coming up with recommendations.

The only identified limitation of this report is that it relies on secondary data and may require a primary research to substantiate the recommendations made here.

Social media community is defined, for the purpose of this report, as a group of people with shared interest who interact communally over social media platforms in a meaningful way.

Research paper on social media effects

First topic: geo-social contents as emerging social media trend.

GPS-enabled social media sites and smartphone are revolutionizing social media presence in a big way. In 2012, Foursquare - one of the GPS-enabled social media sites - reported a total of 4.5 billion "check-ins" in its traffic where each user was able to link their presence, photos and even notes to a particular location or venue (Foursquare|About Foursquare, 2012). Instagram, an image-sharing service, allows its users to attach to each photo, latitude-longitude coordinates just like its counterpart Flickr. This trend is followed by a host of other social media services. Twitter, which brags of 500 tweets a day, has about 5 million of these tweets tagged with geospatial coordinates. In their recent research, Pew Researchers confirm this trend of geo-social footprints that has taken center-stage when it comes to social media presence and experience. The opportunities created by this trend for social scientists is immense. The most important factor is that this location-based data is voluntary and most importantly, public. As opposed to proprietary data, geo-social footprints do not require a social researcher to undergo a lot of hassle to get the right geospatial data as is with highly sensitive proprietary location-based data and the expensive lab-based geospatial data. Needless to say, with this high availability of geospatial data, basic scientific researches on social life can be accomplished with much ease. The kind of invaluable information for such researches that were initially difficult to obtain has now been made widely available through social media.

Moreover, these pieces of location-based data can form a crucial part of geo-social intelligence, especially for information system designers. With this kind of information, these designers are in a position to optimized searches for given pieces of information associated with particular locations to facilitate data retrieval in location-based researches. This way, it will be easy to map out human behavior dynamics associated with specific locations locally and globally. Additionally, it will also be possible to figure out how ideas diffuse across society and the societal impact of this. In particular, this information will be important when it comes to mapping geo-social footprints into impacts real-world context.

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Social Change Research Paper Topics

research papers on social networking

Social change is ubiquitous. Although earlier social scientists often treated stability as normal and significant social change as an exceptional process that required a special explanation, scholars now expect to see change at all times and in all social organizations. Much of this type of change is continuous; it occurs in small increments and reveals long-term patterns such as growth. Discontinuous changes, however, are more common than has been assumed. From the perspective of individual organizations, these changes are relatively common and often result in sharp departures from previous states such as when corporations are created, merged, or terminated. From the perspective of larger populations of such organizations, relatively few discontinuous changes result in comparably sharp departures from long-term patterns and trends. Even revolutions that result in dramatic changes of political and legal institutions generally do not transform all of society equally. Some previous patterns continue; others are restored.

Cumulative social change must be distinguished from recurrent fluctuations and the processual aspect of all social life. Both sociologists and historians study the latter by focusing on those dynamic processes through which the social lives of particular individuals and groups may change even though overall patterns remain relatively constant. Marriages and divorces are major changes in social relationships, but a society may have a roughly constant marriage or divorce rate for long periods. Similarly, markets involve a continuous flow of changes in regard to who possess money or goods, who stands in the position of creditor or debtor, who is unemployed or unemployed, and so forth. These specific changes, however, generally do not alter the nature of the markets. Researchers both study the form of particular transactions and develop models to describe the dynamics of large-scale statistical aggregations of such processes.

As Bourdieu (1977, 1990) and Giddens (1986) suggest, it is necessary to see human social life as always being structured, but incompletely so. ”Structuration,” to use their term, is as much a process of change as a reflection of stability. Indeed, the existence of stable social patterns over long periods requires at least as much explanation as does social change. This situation has led to renewed attention to social reproduction, or the ways in which social patterns are re-created in social action. This contrasts with earlier views of continuity as a matter of inertia or simple endurance. Some continuity in the social order is achieved intentionally by actors with enough power to resist changes desired by others; rulers thus maintain their rule by force. Much social reproduction, however, works at a less consciously intentional level and is based on the ways in which people learn to think and act rather than on overt, material force. Bourdieu and Passeron (1977), for example, follow Weber in studying the ways in which ingrained, habitual ways of deciding what new action fits an individual’s situation work without conscious intention to reproduce overall social patterns. A pattern of inequality in educational attainment that is understood officially as meritocratic and is genuinely intended by teachers to be so thus may be reproduced in part because students from non-elite backgrounds unconsciously lower their expectations for themselves, expecting elites to do better. Teachers may unconsciously do the same thing. When decisions are to be made, such as whether to go to university, or which university to choose, elite students and their families are more likely to have the confidence and knowledge to invest in options with a higher long-term payoff.

To understand social change, thus, it is necessary also to understand what produces social continuity. It would be a mistake to explain social change always in terms of a new factor that intervenes in an otherwise stable situation. Rather, social change commonly is produced by the same factors that produce continuity. These factors may change in quantity or quality or in relation to each other.

Sometimes, however, specific processes of social life undergo long-term transformations. These transformations in the nature, organization, or outcomes of the processes are what is usually studied under the label ”social change.” Social life always depends, for example, on the processes of birth and death that reproduce populations through generations. These rates (adjusted for the age of a population) may be in equilibrium for long periods, resulting in little change in the overall size of a population. Alternatively birthrates may exceed death rates most of the time, resulting in gradual population growth, but periodic disasters such as war, famine, and pestilence may cut the population back. In this case, the population may show little or no cumulative growth, but instead exhibit a dynamic equilibrium in which every period of gradual increase is offset by one of rapid decline. Approximations to these two patterns characterize most of world history. Population growth generally has been quite slow, although periodic declines have not offset all the increases. In the last three hundred years, however, a new phenomenon has been noted. As societies industrialize and generally grow richer and change the daily lives of their members, they undergo a ”fertility transition.” First, improvements in nutrition, sanitation, and health can allow people to live longer. This results in population growth that can be very rapid if the improvements are introduced together rather than gradually developing over a long period. After a time lag, this encourages people to have fewer children because more of the children they do have survive. As fertility rates (birthrates standardized by the number of women of child-bearing age) also drop, a new equilibrium may be reached; population growth will slow or stop. This is a cumulative transition, because after it, the typical rates of birth and death are much lower even though the population may be much larger. A variety of other changes may follow from or be influenced by this process. For example, family life may change with declining numbers of children, parents’ (especially mothers’) lives are likely to change as fewer of their years are devoted to bearing and raising children, and childhood deaths may become rarities rather than common experiences.

Social history is given its shape by such cumulative social changes. Many of these changes are quite basic, such as the creation of the modern state; others are more minor, such as the invention and spread of the handshake as a form of greeting. Most, such as the development of team sports, fast-food restaurants, and the international, academic conference, lie in the broad area in between. Thus, cumulative social changes may take place on a variety of different scales, from the patterns of small group life through institutions such as the business corporation or church to overall societal arrangements. Significant changes tend to have widespread repercussions, however, and so it is rare for one part of social life to change dramatically without changing other parts.

While certain important changes, such as an increasing population, are basically linear, others are discontinuous. There are two senses of discontinuity. The first is abruptness, such as the dramatic contraction of the European population in the wake of plague and other calamities of the fourteenth century and the occurrence of the Russian Revolution after centuries of tsarist rule and failed revolts. Second, some social changes alter not just the values of variables but the relationship of variables to each other. Thus, for much of history the military power and wealth of a ruler was based directly on the number of his or her subjects; growing populations meant an increasing total product from which to extract tribute, taxes, and military service. With the transformation first of agriculture and then of industrial production in the early capitalist era or just before it, this relationship was in many cases upset. Increasingly, from the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, for example, the heads of Scottish clans found that a small population raising sheep could produce more wealth than could a large one farming; their attempt to maximize this advantage contributed to the migration of Scots to Ireland and America. This process was of course linked also to growing demand for wool and the development of the industrial production of textiles. Those factors in turn involved new divisions of social labor and increased long-distance trade. At the same time, the development of industrial production and related weapons technologies reduced the military advantages of large population size by contrast to epochs when wars generally were won by the largest armies; indeed, population may be inversely related to power if it impedes industrialization.

This case provides an example of how shifts in the relationships of certain variables can alter not only overall social patterns but broad cultural orientations to social change. Along with industrialization (and other dimensions of modern social life) has come a continuous process of technological and social innovation. As Weber (1922) emphasized, this process is at odds with a traditional orientation to social life. Traditionalism implies an expectation of continuity and respect for the ways in which things have always been done. Constant innovation is linked to the pursuit of more efficient ways to do things and an expectation of continuous change. Leaders of China, long thought the absolute size of armies would be decisive in conflict. They were shocked when both Japan and Western powers were able to win victories in the nineteenth century mainly on the basis of superior technology rather than superior size. This helped produce not only the collapse of a specific imperial dynasty but a crisis in a whole pattern of traditionalism. Instead of assuming that the best lessons for military strategy lay in the teachings of the past, some leaders recognized that they needed to look for new ways in which to make the country strong. This produced a tension between trying to preserve cultural identity by continuing to do things the same way and trying to achieve technological and other gains by innovating. This tension is common in societies that have undergone broad patterns of social change in the modern era. In China, after the death of Mao Zedong leaders decided that strengthening the country and improving people’s lives depended on technological advancement and economic development. Recognizing both that large armies would not win wars against enemies with technologically advanced weapons and that rapid population growth would make it difficult to educate the whole population and produce rapid economic growth, Deng Xiaoping and other leaders introduced policies to reduce population growth rates. They also decided that they needed to liberalize the economy and encourage private business because state-owned enterprises could not innovate rapidly enough. On the one hand, they encourage innovation in economy and technology, and on the other hand, they resist change in politics and culture. Although perhaps contradictory, these two responses have been typical of leaders in societies undergoing the process of modernization. Although it is impossible to prevent major changes in technology and the economy from having an impact on politics and culture, it is possible to shape what those impacts will be.

Sociologists generally have taken three approaches to studying cumulative social changes. The first is to look for generalizable patterns in how all sorts of changes occur, the second is to seek an explanation for the whole overall pattern of history, and the third is to analyze historically specific processes of change.

Following the first of these approaches, sociologists have looked for characteristic phases through which any social innovation must pass, such as skepticism, experimentation, early diffusion among leaders, and later general acceptance. Ogburn ([1922] 1950) was a pioneer in this sort of research, examining topics such as the characteristic ”lag” between cultural innovations and widespread adjustments to them or exploitation of their potential. In regard to the fertility transition, when improved health care and nutrition make it possible for nearly all children to survive to adulthood, it takes a generation or two before parents stop having large families as ”insurance policies” to provide for support in their old age. Earlier researchers often hoped to find general laws that would explain the duration of such lags and account for other features of all processes of social change. Contemporary sociologists tend to place much more emphasis on differences among various kinds of social change and their settings; accordingly, their generalizations are more specific. Researchers may limit their studies to the patterns of innovation among business organizations, for example, recognizing that those organizations may act quite differently from others. They also may ask questions such as, Why do innovations gain acceptance more rapidly in formal organizations (e.g., businesses) than in informal, primary groups (e.g., families), or what sorts of organizations are more likely to innovate? The changes may be very specific, such as the introduction of new technologies of production, or very general, such as the Industrial Revolution as a whole (Smelser 1958). The key distinguishing feature of these sorts of studies is that they regard changes as individual units of roughly similar sorts and aim to produce generalizations about them.

The second major sociological approach to cumulative change—seeking an explanation for the whole pattern of cumulation—was long the province of philosophies of history that culminated in the sweeping syntheses of the nineteenth century. Sociology was born partly out of the attempt to understand the rise of science, industry, and urban society. These and related transitions were conceptualized in frameworks that emphasized shifts from tradition to modernity, feudalism to capitalism, and monarchy to republicanism or democracy. As Sztompka (1993) points out, three basic visions were developed, each of which has left a mark on sociology and continues to be influential in research: cycles, evolutionary progress, and historical materialism. The roots of the cyclical vision stretch back to antiquity. The image of the human life cycle, from birth and infancy to old age and death, for example, was used to conceptualize the rise and fall of whole societies and of imperial dynasties that were thought to be vigorous in youth and feeble in old age. Few scientific sociologists have regarded such images as more than metaphors, but they have been influential among writers attempting to generalize about the course of history (e.g., Spengler [1918] 1939; Toynbee 1934-1961). A number of sociologists, however, have studied more specific cyclical patterns. Pareto ([1916] 1980) analyzed what he called the circulation of elites, a pattern in which specific groups rose into and then fell from social dominance. Sorokin (1937) analyzed cultural cycles, especially the oscillating dominance of ideational (spiritual, intellectual) and sensate (sensual, materialist) orientations. More recently, sociologists have identified cycles in social movements and collective action (Tilly 1989; Tarrow 1998; Traugott, 1995).

Both historical materialism and evolutionism are indebted to another ancient idea, that of progress. Here the idea is that social change tends to produce a pattern of improvements in human life as measured in relationship to a standard of evaluation. In this regard, sociological evolutionism has commonly differed from evolutionary theory in biology, which has been less focused on the overall direction of change and normative evaluation. The great nineteenth-century evolutionary thinkers Comte([1830-1842, 1851-1854] 1975) and Spencer (1893) conceptualized history as progress through a series of stages. Comte based his analysis on what he saw as improvements in social knowledge through theological, metaphysical, and positive stages. Spencer, who was also an originator of evolutionary theory in biology, had a much more complex and sophisticated theory, focusing on the way structures developed to meet functional imperatives and gaining direction from the idea that ”incoherent homogeneity” progressively gives way to ”coherent heterogeneity” through the process of structural differentiation. Spencer (1893) addressed particularly the transition from military to industrial societies, which he saw as basic to modernity. Durkheim (1893) developed a similar analysis in his description of the movement from mechanical to organic solidarity.

Historical materialists, starting with Marx (1863), also analyzed stages in historical development (such as feudalism and capitalism), but with three crucial differences from other evolutionary theories. First, Marx and his followers argued that material factors, especially the mode of production, shape the rest of society and that change is driven largely by improvements in the capacity for material production. Second, following a dialectical logic, Marxists emphasized the internal contradictions within each stage of development. Capitalism, for example, generated tremendous increases in productivity but distributed the resulting wealth so unequally that it was prone to economic crises and social revolutions. Rather than a simple, incremental progress, thus, Marxists saw evolution as taking place in discontinuous breaks marked by clashes and struggles. Third, most versions of Marxist theory gave greater emphasis to human agency or ability consciously to shape the direction of social change than was typical of evolutionary theory. The question of the extent to which evolution can be directed consciously has, however, recently come to the fore of non-Marxist evolutionary theory as well, as in in the work of the sociobiologist Wilson (Wilson and Wilson 1999).

The most important contemporary theories of social evolution attempt to generate not only overall descriptions of stages but causal explanations for social change. Lenski, for example, has argued that increases in technological capacity (including information processing as well as material production and distribution) account for most of the major changes in human social organization (Lenski et al. 1994). In his synthesis, Lenski arranges the major forms of human societies in a hierarchy based on their technological capacity and shows how other features, such as their typical patterns of religion, law, government, class inequality, and relations between the sexes, are rooted in those technological differences. In support of the idea that there is an overall evolutionary pattern, Lenski et al. (1994) point to the tendency of social change to move only in one direction. Thus, there are many cases of agricultural states being transformed into industrial societies but very few (if any) examples of the reverse. Of course, Lenski acknowledges that human evolution is not completely irreversible; he notes, however, not only that cases of reversal are relatively few but that they commonly result from an external cataclysm. Similarly, Lenski indicates that the direction of human social evolution is not strictly dictated from the start but only channeled in certain directions. There is room for human ingenuity to determine the shape of the future through a wide range of potential differences in invention and innovation. There are a number of other important versions of the evolutionary approach to cumulative social change. Some stress different material factors, such as human adaptation to ecological constraints (Harris 1979; White 1949); others stress culture and other patterns of thought more than material conditions (Parsons 1968; Habermas 1978).

Adherents to the third major approach to cumulative social change argue that there can be no single evolutionary explanation for all the important transitions in human history. They also stress differences as well as analogies among particular instances of specific sorts of change (Stinchcombe 1978). These historians and historical sociologists emphasize the importance of dealing adequately with particular changes by locating them in their historical and cultural contexts and distinguishing them through comparison (Abrams 1982; Skocpol 1984; Calhoun 1995, 1998). Weber was an important pioneer of this approach. A prominent variety of Marxism has stressed the view that Marx’s mature analysis of capitalism emphasizes historical specificity rather than the use of the same categories to explain all of history (Postone 1993). Historical sociologists have argued that a particular sort of transformation, such as the development of the capacity for industrial production, may result from different causes and have different implications on different occasions. The original Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-and nineteenth-century Britain thus developed with no advance model and without competition from established industrial powers. Countries that are industrializing today are influenced by both models and competition from existing industrial countries, along with influences from multinational corporations. The development of the modern world system thus fundamentally altered the conditions of future social changes, making it misleading to lump together cases of early and late industrialization for the purpose of generalization. Similarly, prerequisites for industrial production may be supplied by different institutional formations; one should compare not just institutions but different responses to similar problems.

Accident and disorder also have played crucial roles in the development of the modern world system. Wallerstein (1974-1988) shows the centrality of historical conjunctures and contingencies: the partially random relationships between different sorts of events (on historical accidents, see also Simmel 1977; Boudon 1986). For example, the outcome of military battles between Spain (an old-fashioned empire) and Britain (the key industrial-capitalist pioneer) were not foregone conclusions. There was room for bravery, weather, strategy, and a variety of other factors to play a role. However, certain key British victories, notably in the sixteenth century, helped make not only British history but world history different by creating the conditions for the modern world system to take the shape it did. Against evolutionary explanation, historical sociologists also argue that different factors explain different transformations. Thus, no amount of study of the factors that brought about the rise of capitalism and industrial production can provide the necessary insight into the decline of the Roman Empire and the eventual development of feudalism in Europe or the consolidation of China’s very different regions into the world’s most enduring empire and most populous state. These different kinds of events have their own different sorts of causes.

Predictably, some sociologists seek ways to combine some of the benefits of each type of approach to explaining cumulative social change. Historical sociologists who emphasize the singularity of specific transformations can learn from comparisons among such changes and achieve at least partial generalizations about them. Thus, different factors are involved in every social revolution, yet certain key elements seem to be present, such as crises (financial as well as political) in a government’s capacity to rule (Skocpol 1979; Goldstone 1991). This recognition encourages one to focus on structural factors that may help create potentially revolutionary situations as well as the ideologies and actions of specific revolutionaries. Similarly, even though a variety of specific factors may determine the transition to capitalism or industrialization in every instance, some version of a fertility transition seems to play a role in nearly all cases. Although evolutionary theory is widely rejected by historical sociologists, some look to evolutionary arguments for suggestions about what factors might be important. Thus, Lenski’s emphasis on technology and Marx’s focus on the relationship of production and class struggle can provide foci for research, and that research can help deter mine whether those factors are equally important in all societal transformations and whether they work the same way in each one. More radically, evolutionary socioglogy might follow biology in focusing less on the selection of whole populations (societies) for success or failure and look instead at the selection of specific social practices (e.g., the bearing of large numbers of children) for reproduction or disappearance. Such an evolutionary theory might provide insight into how practices become more or less common, following biology in looking for mechanisms of reproduction and inheritance, the initiation of new practices (mutation), and the clustering of practices in interacting groups (speciation) as well as selection. It would, however, necessarily give up the capacity to offer a single explanation for all the major transitions in human social history, which is one of the attractions of evolutionary theory to its adherents.

Certain basic challenges are particularly important in the study of cumulative social change today. In addition to working out a satisfactory relationship among the three main approaches, perhaps the most important challenge is to distinguish social changes that are basic from those which are ephemeral or less momentous. Sociologists, like historians and other scholars, need to be able to characterize broad patterns of social arrangements. This is what sociologists do when they speak of ”modernity” or ”industrial society.” Such characterizations involve at least implicit theoretical claims about the crucial factors that distinguish these eras or forms. In the case of complex, large-scale societal processes, these factors are hard to pin down. How much industrial capacity does a society need to have before one can call it industrial? How low must employment in its increasingly automated industries become before one can call it postindustrial? Is current social and economic globalization the continuation of a longstanding trend or part of a fundamental transformation? Although settling such questions is difficult, debating them is crucial, for sociologists cannot grasp the historical contexts of the phenomena they study if they limit themselves to studying particulars or seeking generalizations from them without attempting to understand the differences among historical epochs (however hard to define sharply) and cultures (however much they may shade into each other with contact). Particularly because of the many current contentions that humanity stands on the edge of a new age— postmodern, postindustrial, or something else— researchers and theorists need to give strong answers to the question of what it means to claim that one epoch ends and another begins (Calhoun 1999).

Many prominent social theorists have treated all of modernity as a continuous era and stressed its distinction from previous (or anticipated future) forms of social organization. Durkheim (1893) argued that a new, more complex division of labor is central to a dichotomous distinction of modern (organically solidary) from premodern (mechanically solidary) society. Weber (1922) saw Western rationalization of action and relationships as basic and as continuing without rupture through the whole modern era. Marx (1863) saw the transition from feudalism to capitalism as basic but held that no change in modernity could be considered fundamental unless it overthrew the processes of private capital accumulation and the commodification of labor. Recent Marxists thus argue that the social and economic changes of the last several decades mark a new phase within capitalism but not a break with it (Mandel 1974; Wallerstein 19741988; Harvey 1989). Many sociologists would add a claim about the centrality of increasing state power as a basic, continuous process of modernity (e.g., Tilly 1990; Mann 1986-1993). More generally, Habermas (1984-1988) has stressed the split between a life world in which everyday interactions are organized on the basis of mutual agreement and an increasingly prominent systemic integration through the impersonal relationships of money and power outside the reach of linguistically mediated cooperative understanding. Common to all these positions is the notion that there is a general process (not just a static set of attributes) common to all forms of modernity. Some claim to discern a causal explanation; others only point to the trends, suggesting that those trends may have several causes but that there is no single ”prime mover” that can explain an overall pattern of evolution. All would agree that no really basic social change can be said to have occurred until the fundamental processes they identify have ended, been reversed, or changed their relationship to other variables. Obviously, a great deal depends on what processes are considered fundamental.

Rather than stressing the common processes that organize all forms of modernity, some scholars have followed Marx (and recent structuralist theory) in pointing to the disjunctures between relatively stable periods. Foucault (1973), for example, emphasized basic transformations in the way knowledge is constituted and an order is ascribed to the world of things, people, and ideas. Renaissance culture was characterized by an emphasis on resemblances among the manifold different elements of God’s single, unified creation. Knowledge of fields as diverse to modern eyes as biology, aesthetics, theology, and astronomy was thought to be unified by the matching of similar characteristics, with those in each field serving as visible signs of counterparts in the others. The ”classical” modernity of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries marked a radical break by treating the sign as fundamentally distinct from the thing it signified, noting, for example, that words have only arbitrary relationships to the objects they name. The study of representation thus replaced that of resemblances. In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, another rupture came with the development of the modern ideas of classification according to hidden, underlying causes rather than superficial resemblances and an examination of human beings as the basic source of systems of representation. Only this last period could give rise to the ”human sciences”—psychology, sociology, and so forth—as they are known today. Similarly, Foucault (1977) argued that the modern individual is a distinctive form of person or self, produced by an intensification of disciplining power and surveillance. Where most theories of social change emphasize processes, Foucault’s ”archaeology of knowledge” emphasizes the internal coherence of relatively stable cultural configurations and the ruptures between them.

Foucault’s work has been taken as support for the claim (which was not his own) that the modern era has ended. Theories of ”postmodernity” commonly argue that at some point the modern era gave way to a successor, though some scholars (e.g., Lyotard 1977) have indicated, against the implications of the label ”postmodern,” that they mean not a simple historical succession but a recurrent internal challenge to the dominant ”modernist” patterns (Lash 1990; Seidman 1995; Harvey 1989; Calhoun 1995). Generally, they hold that where modernity was rigid, linear, and focused on universality, postmodernity is flexible, fluidly multidirectional, and focused on difference. Some postmodernist theories emphasize the impact of new production technologies (especially computer-assisted flexible automation), while others are more exclusively cultural. The label ”postmodernity” often is applied rather casually to point to interesting features of the present period without clearly indicating why they should be taken as revealing a basic discontinuous shift between eras.

At stake in debates over the periodization of social change is not just the labeling of eras but the analysis of what factors are most fundamentally constitutive of social organization. Should ecology and politics be seen as determinative over, equal to, or derivative of the economy? Is demography or technological capacity prior to the other? What gives capitalism, feudalism, a kinship system, or any other social order its temporary and relative stability? Such questions must be approached not just in terms of manifest influence at any single point in time or during specific events but also in terms of the way particular factors figure in long-term processes of cumulative social change.


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