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Les normes implicites du " tri sélectif " sur Facebook : Entre innovation et reproduction sociale

Abstract : An issue has emerged following previous questioning about social network practices: does the massive exposure of young people's private lives on the Web create new identities and standards of judgment? this research will be developed from several surveys on social networking use since 2007 by young people aged between 17 and 22. in particular, we have focused our analysis on the way photos of boys and girls were judged by their peers, of both sexes. the processing of data about other people, in a socialized context, is one of our main themes of research. it was particularly interesting to consider this process as mediated by the Facebook network, both in order to understand the peculiarities of the contextual effect of networks in the logic of the underlying regulations and because it seems that technical systems are themselves implicit accelerators enhancing the socio-cognitive processes involved. our approach was created empirically on the basis of field surveys, which were completed every year over a 4-year period. among the most telling results, obtained as soon as 2009, we notice in particular that: - all assessments were much more damaging for girls - "bad reputation", "risk for later employment" "their parents mustn't see this". But there was more sympathy for boys. - Photos "exposed on Facebook" were considered differently from "paper" photos. the verdict was generally more severe, especially for girls, as the "reputation" and "risk for the future" factors were quite naturally aggravated. - although girls were judged less favourably, they were also the most rigorous. Girls themselves were the most severe towards other girls. Selective sorting on the three essential criteria: - the fact of already being known in real life or not - the number of shared friends - the photo the processes of cooptation of friends are also simplified and radicalised, thus strengthening social logics and norms: "We have very little information about the person. if we don't already know them, the only information is the photo and the number of shared friends." therefore, the "shared friends" criterion is paramount as it is placed in the forefront by the architecture of the site itself - everything works to focus on this factor and render it preponderant. We note that although the selection criteria or "standards" are very similar to those governing face-to face situations, cooptation is accelerated, and processing information about others on just a few membership criteria may encourage the emergence of radical groups and reduce social mixing and diversity. in the process of social selection mediated by the network, judgment standards are created on the basis of a few "socially desirable" values in the constitution of groups that therefore operate real "selective sorting". Comments gathered during the interviews seem to confirm this: "i cannot necessarily allow myself to accept ugly girls as my friends...", "i can't accept shifty-looking blokes, even if i know they are clean", "Yes, i think political or religious views can play a more important role than in life, afterwards it's still there" identity construction set: to build his identity the young person exposes himself on Facebook, he exhibits his representations of himself, which can sometimes be multiple. Communicating on Facebook takes effort to produce a satisfactory image, another self, he has to feed his profile regularly, improve or modify his wall. There is an intention to appear in a secondary or "artificial mode". But one does not totally invent a virtual character as in some video games. the intention is more to "enhance" reality by tolerating some discrepancies (touched-up photos, especially for girls). the things establishing the relational fabric are linked to the site's digital framework. the relationship is orchestrated by the page shape, the characters of the fonts, the location and size of images, photos, videos, publications... the identity is translated via the interface and normalizes bland images which all tend to resemble each other, at least insofar as their format is concerned. the site's options also enable selection of "friend candidates" according to similarity criteria that determine the assembly of "close" profiles in terms of age, tastes and opinions, etc., along the lines of the old saying "birds of a feather flock together". Discussion While putting the results of our study into perspective with the reference population, we have seen, within this strict framework that:- on Facebook, relational and identity logic is exacerbated and modified at the same time. There is simultaneous reproduction and creation of new standards. - We also see dominance of form at the expense of substance in the opinion of others, in the way friends are co-opted and the formation of these virtual groups. only the "easily treatable" signs are taken into account - on the one hand because of the cognitive limits of the subjects, which have to simplify their relational approaches and on the other because of the site's structure, which encourages focus on certain behaviour and attitudes rather than others, thus acting as real obligatory standards. - We cannot consider the judgment standards in the cooptation process without understanding that, beyond the process of building the image and resulting identity, there is a kind of attribution of self-esteem. "My profile is often visited. i have many friends. i have lots of messages ... iam somebody who is "loved", someone "good."" the famous "like Facebook" is a measure of the attractiveness of the images that you display as an extension of your own image. this is both recognition and a label that people "naturally" accept by agreeing to comply with the underlying sets of regulations. The implicit norms of "selective sorting" on Facebook Between innovation and social reproduction
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Contributor : Compte Laboratoire Geriico <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 2, 2013 - 4:02:11 PM
Last modification on : Monday, February 25, 2019 - 3:14:09 PM


  • HAL Id : hal-00840534, version 1


Marie-Agnès de Gail. Les normes implicites du " tri sélectif " sur Facebook : Entre innovation et reproduction sociale. Communiquer dans un monde de normes. L'information et la communication dans les enjeux contemporains de la " mondialisation "., Mar 2012, France. ⟨hal-00840534⟩



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