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Facebook & the Web of Group Affiliation: Socializing, Socialization, & Social Network Site Use Among Law Students

37 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2009 Last revised: 5 Dec 2012

Eric M. Fink

Elon University School of Law

Date Written: February 27, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: law students, social networks, social media, socialization,

Suggested Citation

Fink, Eric M., Facebook & the Web of Group Affiliation: Socializing, Socialization, & Social Network Site Use Among Law Students (February 27, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1430616 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1430616

Eric M. Fink (Contact Author)

Elon University School of Law ( email )

201 N. Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States
336-279-9334 (Phone)

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