How the Singaporean Youth Uses Facebook to Boost Social Capital

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How the Singaporean Youth uses Facebook to boost Social Capital

Executive Summary4

Introduction5

Literature Review6

Methodology10

Findings13

Discussion20

Conclusion and Limitation22

Research Proposal23

References24

Appendix A (Focus Group Transcription)

Appendix B (Interview Transcription)

Appendix C (Survey Questionnaire )

Appendix D (Tabulation Of Selected Survey Results)

Appendix E (Consent Form)
Executive Summary

The public is based on a social criteria while audience is an individual membership of larger grouping and in communication, the latter is vital they are whom the media wants to reach out to. The media landscape has evolved over the year and Internet now reigns supreme. The social media audience is an interesting topic to understand as they are the active producers of media messages.

Why must we constantly upload pictures and tag our friends? Does it matter if people know “what’s on my mind”? Audience research have shown that people are often participatory seekers after meaning, though not always accepting but sometimes negotiating or even resisting textual meanings (Livingstone, 2005). This study aims to understand the correlation between social networking site – Facebook and how Singaporean youths uses it to further enhance their social capital.

Introduction

Your birthday is coming and you want to invite your friends to your party. Instead of sending out invitation cards, all you need now is to “Create an Event”. Within a few minutes, everyone is informed about the party. While our earliest understanding of audience are of a physical gathering in a certain place (McQuail, 2000) , this is a new dynasty of audience where all the world’s a Facebook.

The Facebook Era

Facebook is a social networking site that has transformed the lives of many, especially youths. It not only connects people with friends, but also those who work, study and live around them. Launched in 2004, Facebook was founded by then Harvard student Mark Zuckerburg. Initially meant for Harvard University students to communicate and connect with their school mates, it was expanded to all Ivy League schools and eventually, in September 2006, Facebook opened to anyone 13 or older (Facebook, 2011). There are now more than 500 million users on Facebook (Kirkpatrick, 2010). Users are able to join one or more networks, e.g. a school, workplace or geographic region and make this information known on their profile. The Singapore network is ranked 48th in the world with 2,214,360 members (Socialbakers, 2011), with the first user began using Facebook on May 11, 2006.

According to a research done by the Nielsen Company in 2009, the total time spent on social networking sites by Internet users worldwide had grown 63 percent while the time spent on Facebook had increased by 566 percent (Kirkpatrick, 2010). Singaporean youths aged between 18 to 24 are the second most active group of Facebook users, taking a pie share of 31%. The biggest group belongs to those aged between 24 to 35, with a 33% majority (Socialbakers, 2011). An audience is a product of social context and the by-product of media provision who can be defined through a particular type of medium involved (McQuail, 2000) and in this case, I chose Facebook. Although there are books in the market and a movie about this phenomenal social networking site, there is little research done on this topic and its effect on Singapore youths hence the following hypothesis:

Singaporean youths aged 18 and 24 use Facebook to increase the value of their social capital.

Literature Review

Social Capital

Social capital refers to features of social organisation, such as networks and norms that facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit. It enhances the benefits of investment in physical and human capital terms (Putnam, 1993).

It is believed that social networks have value, just like how a screwdriver is physical...
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