Student Independent Project Social Cultural Studies 2015: Drawn to the Assemblage: Actor-Network Theory, Facebook and Consent

Curlew, Kyle (2015) Student Independent Project Social Cultural Studies 2015: Drawn to the Assemblage: Actor-Network Theory, Facebook and Consent. Research Report. Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

In this paper I explore how the Facebook actor-network enlists the participation and consent of human actors through an alliance of humans and nonhumans. The theoretical framework that informed my fieldwork and analysis of data was Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and the work of Bruno Latour. Using the extended-case method, I took a qualitative approach to explore how users experienced the Facebook actor-network and developed a case study that could then be used to extend and further develop ANT. I used a purposive sampling method to recruit three users and three non-users of Facebook; I then used an open-ended interview guide to explore various topics and themes (e.g. general social network site usage, experiences with Facebook and perceptions of surveillance). The outcome of the research suggested that there are a variety of symmetrical enlistment strategies that the Facebook actor-network utilizes to enlist, proliferate and maintain the integrity of the overall network (e.g. notifications on mobile devices). The complexity and exploitative capacity of the Facebook actor-network is blackboxed and punctuated at the users computer monitor and mobile devices obscuring its more nefarious consequences. Even with this obscurity, the research participants demonstrated instances of resistance through metaphors of addiction and corruption and a valorization of those who left Facebook

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11826
Item ID: 11826
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > Division of Social Science > Social/Cultural Studies
Date: 2015
Date Type: Submission

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