Campus Access Only
All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.
Date of Award
Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted
Master of Arts (M.A.)
First Committee Member
Carol Ann Hackley
Second Committee Member
This ethnographic study investigated the underlying motivations behind college-aged students ' use of the popular social-networking site, MySpace. It also examined how MySpace influences online and offline relationships as well as impacts individuals' self concept. The research method included an initial unobtrusive observation of 50 random MySpace pages, participant-observation of informants' sites and 18 interviews with the study's participants. Each component of this ethnographic design helps reveal various patterns associated with relational and self motivations using MySpace.
Following transcription analysis and multi-tiered triangulation among interview, participant-observation and lurking data, the information was compiled in a matrix to help break down and to evaluate data in manageable pieces. Two key findings related to concepts of self and relationships resulted from this study. The first discovery suggested that participants engage in a number of relational maintenance strategies, particularly activities associated with alleviating dialectical tensions, such as autonomy and togetherness. Secondly, the study revealed that MySpace members constantly negotiate their ideal and actual selves through computer-mediated communication, based on reflective appraisals from significant others on MySpace. Taken together, relational maintenance strategies and self-concept activities are engineered by the users' need to necessarily learn the values, norms and culture associated with life in MySpace.
The study builds upon previous literature on ethnographical methods, computer-mediated communication, relational maintenance, self-concepts and socialization practices. This thesis contributes to burgeoning research in virtual ethnography as well as to emerging, yet underrepresented academic research investigating social networking sites use motivations.
Domingo, Brian-Alexander T.. (2006). Why is MySpace the place for friends? : An ethnographic study on the effects of social-networking site use on socialization. University of the Pacific, Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/639
To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid pacific.edu email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.Find in PacificSearch