Murthy, Dhiraj. 2013. Facebook. In: Ritzer George, ed. Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Oxford: Blackwell, p. 1. ISBN 9781405124331 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

Facebook is an online social networking site which has over 900 million users. The site seeks to foster interactions between friends through short updates, sharing photographs, and playing games together. The medium also encourages social commentary through these interactions. Facebook has become a household name not only because of its large user base, but also because of its prominent use in social movements (including the Arab Spring), elections (e.g. the 2008 United States presidential election), and a successful feature film about it, The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010). Facebook, like other online social networking sites, is built upon “profiles,” defined as spaces which “display an articulated list of Friends who are also users of the system” ( boyd & Ellison 2007 ). Facebook profiles also contain photographs of the users, basic demographic data, employment and educational history, relationship information, and information about the users’ hobbies, musical preferences, favorite movies, and other social preferences. Facebook users “friend” each other, which involves sending requests to other users with whom they are acquainted. Friends on Facebook are able to see each other's profiles as well as any “status updates,” usually one- to two-line updates on how a user is feeling, what she is thinking, where she is, or anything else of interest to the user.

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Book Section


Facebook, sociology, social networking sites, social media

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Date Deposited:

17 Jan 2014 08:47

Last Modified:

19 Apr 2016 16:37



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