From Each According to Media? Testing Wellman's Theory of Networked Individualism
10 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 14, 2009
Wellman's networked individualism suggests a social shift from group-oriented interactions to more person-to-person contact. He contends that this shift is associated with a rise in person-to-person media and individually tailored use of such media. I analyze this claim using data collected by Wellman and colleagues in Toronto, Canada. The analysis reveals that there is significant heterogeneity in both network structure and media use. However, using both conventional and novel metrics for this heterogeneity, I demonstrate that person-to-person media behaviors are not significantly associated with differences in network structure. As such, while we may think of their being networked individualistic structures and networked individualistic practices, these two are not mutually constitutive.
Keywords: networked individualism, group interaction, person-to-person media, network structure, media use, behavior, network practice, personalisation, Internet
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