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ERIC Number: ED531853
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 312
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-0296-4
An Examination of Native and Immigrant Students' Social Networking Using the College Search and Selection Process
Neimeyer, Bruce Carlton
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
This dissertation explores the use of formal and informal networks through cyber- and traditional communication methods in the college search and selection process by native and immigrant students to examine various postulates and propositions of social capital theory. In addition, the analysis of cybernetworks used by disadvantaged, college bound immigrant students in the United States furthers our understanding of the equalization of opportunity and/or replication of the social divide found with more traditional social networks. The research methods consisted of archival data analysis with chat room transcripts; six on-line focus groups of 21 first year students from The City University of New York (CUNY); and one on-line survey distributed to 9,240 CUNY first year students. SPSS and NVivo qualitative analytical software were used to conduct frequency, statistical significance, correlation and linear relationships analyses. These results confirm the use of a greater variety of formal and informal networks by students. No preference for either the use of formal or informal networks was found among all respondents. However, immigrant students found that formal networks such as guidance counselors, admissions counselors, high school teacher and current college students provided the most useful information compared to their informal networks. Friends as an informal network were the only exception. These findings support the strength-of-weak-ties and strength-of strong-ties postulates. Immigrants show a greater variety of network usage especially through cyber-communication methods. Perhaps as a result, lower SES immigrant students were found to enroll more in four-year CUNY colleges compared to lower SES native students. Lower/middle SES immigrants that used email--mainly with friends--and static college search Web sites had a greater perception than natives of the same SES that their degree would result in their improved SES a finding that challenges the social capital structure postulate. The evidence of the Internets ability to provide equalization of opportunity supports the argument for its more open access in order to address the lack of information among U.S. immigrants. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York