Posted by: mensab | October 2, 2011

Social Distance in Facebook: Breaking or Building Barriers in Cyberspace

Social networking sites have captured the interest and aspiration of people especially Filipinos and Filipinas to make contacts and connect with families, friends, and others. To illustrate this, imagine Facebook having over half a billion account users all over the world. Twenty-six million of those are found in the Philippines. Thus, albeit virtually, numerous contacts are made by differentiated groups through Facebook.

Research has shown that contacts among equals of differentiated groups reduce social distance. With the popularity and wide use of Facebook in the world including the Philippines, do contacts occur among differentiated groups? Or Facebook further solidifies the ingroup and marginalizes the outgroup? Does Facebook break or build social distance among differentiated groups?

It is hypothesized that Facebook facilitates ingroup formation and strengthens its cohesion. Moreover, Facebook does not intentionally marginalize the outgroup. It helps reduce social distance among groups especially those who have a sizeable number of friends from other groups.

If you have a Facebook account, please take the survey here.

The results of this survey will be presented at the 2011 Philippine Sociological Society National Conference in Ateneo de Naga University in Naga City on October 14-15, 2011.

Thank you very much.

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