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Inside Higher Ed :: Networking, Not Politics

June 16, 2006

The InsideHigherEd site came through with another interesting article (if any faithful readers have other feeds that they can’t live without, please share): Networking, Not Politics

Surveying mostly freshmen (90%) women (59%) at the U of IL-Chicago, Eszter Hargittai, a Northwestern Asst. Prof, found that most post-teens (I think her sample skews to younger, more adolescent concerns) like to access social networks online over politics and the like. In other words, they won’t be citing the RSS feed of this site anytime soon.

The article says:

When Hargittai asked students whether they had ever visited different types of blogs, including those focused on politics, music, sports and personal online journals, two-thirds of respondents said they had never visited a political blog; only 5 percent visited one daily. The most popular blog destinations were those of friends and family members.

The writer, Rob Capriccioso, allows the typical response to such news as “students will be students,” citing Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit who says:

Political blogging is a dorky sideline,” he says. “It gets a lot of attention from journalists and politicians because they — like me! — are dorks, too. But most people in general don’t care that much about politics, and college students these days aren’t terribly political.

So, there you have it. You will find post-teens logging on to Xanga, MySpace and FaceBook over DailyKos or Bitch PhD.

Ok, they may still link to the Bitch. She rocks.

  1. Miranda permalink
    June 20, 2006 2:07 am

    I don’t think it should be considered unusual for “post-teens” to be more focused on peers than the larger world. Developmentally, a peer group is a post-teen’s entire world

    Isn’t the purpose of college to start getting a taste of the bigger picture? I also imagine that the percentage of students involved with issue blogs increases with age and experience.

  2. Piss Poor Prof permalink
    June 20, 2006 12:33 pm

    I agree, Miranda. That was my point with the study. The demographics were skewed. I find in teaching that even the move from Freshman to Sophomore is distinctly different. The world view, outlook, etc. all seem to begin moving outward.

    The study seemed to sum up all of college students by the actions of incoming Freshmen. Not the pool I would have chosen.

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