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ERIC Number: EJ1002375
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-0021-3667
Facebook and the Liberal Arts
Moore, Andrew
Journal of General Education, v61 n3 p264-276 2012
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other related social communications technologies have changed the way human beings communicate. They have given individuals the capacity to disseminate information much more quickly and much more broadly than ever before. As the author will argue here, the success of these technologies is premised on their ability to satisfy certain human impulses, impulses that existed long before the Internet. Therefore, understanding Facebook, Twitter, and the like requires comprehension of human aspirations, desires, and customs, as well as comprehension of how those drives and tendencies can be structured by environmental factors. In this essay, the author will focus on Facebook, the social networking platform that, more than any other technology, has become emblematic of the new communications landscape. This essay is, first, an attempt to explain the reasons for social networking's popularity and second, a preliminary exploration of Facebook's implications. What does it mean to have 500 million people occupying the same space on the Internet? This essay is thus, in part, a response to what Boon and Sinclair (2009) have identified as an "urgent need to theorise online identity," though the author is less concerned with "the roles of academics and students, and the codes of practice in such environments," and more interested in the need for liberal arts teachers, programs, and institutions to give more space to social communications technologies in their courses and their curriculums (p. 99). The author hopes that by explaining the causes and the implications of Facebook's stunning ascendance, this essay will serve as a spur to further critical investigation by others. Economists, anthropologists, political scientists, and psychologists as well as experts in narrative and media will be needed to interpret the effects of these new technologies, and the sooner they begin their work, the better. (Contains 4 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A