Facebook & the Web of Group Affiliation: Socializing, Socialization, & Social Network Site Use Among Law Students
Eric M. Fink
Elon University School of Law
February 27, 2010
Online social network sites (“SNSs”) have emerged as a significant socio-technical phenomenon in the past several years. Scholars from various disciplines have examined these sites to develop a better understanding of their social significance and implications from a variety of perspectives. Within the burgeoning field of SN studies, one strand of work focuses on the place of SNs in students’ educational experiences and the potential pedagogical applications of SNSs. However, the SNS phenomenon generally, and its educational/pedagogical significance in particular, have received scant attention from legal scholars. This article presents a case study of Facebook use by students at one law school, as a way of beginning a more robust examination of the place of SNSs within the contemporary law school experience. The article gauges differences in Facebook use among law students by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and other characteristics; explores students’ use of Facebook to manage and cultivate social ties with others in the legal world; and examines students’ self-presentation and communication on Facebook as an aspect of their professional socialization and identity construction.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: law students, social networks, social media, socialization,
Date posted: July 7, 2009 ; Last revised: December 5, 2012