Personal Interest Project

Topics: Sociology, Facebook, Qualitative research Pages: 5 (2043 words) Published: March 12, 2013
PIP pt 1: Proposal:
Introduction – 273 words
The general topic of my PIP is the younger generation’s (specifically Gen Y and Z - the digital natives) inherent captivation with social media and the moral and social quandary this poses. The benefit of social media is ambiguous to say the least; does it serve as a tool to better network with the world around you? Or are its effects much more negative in nature? Accordingly, my hypothesis in relation to my topic is that “Social media isolates individuals (with focus given to the digital natives) by negatively socialising them with subpar social abilities”. I aim to achieve a concrete conclusion on whether or not my hypothesis is accurate, and how and why the networking giant Facebook has undoubtedly changed the socialisation process for present and future generations. Specific areas to be investigated are the continuities or changes to social interaction between individuals, as well as the socialisation process and any variances to the process that may surface due to gender (my cross cultural element). This topic was developed from a genuine interest in the enculturation of individuals into contemporary Western society, and how this may differ negatively compared to more traditional methods of socialising with others, apparent in the previous pre-Facebook generations. To compliment my secondary research for this topic, I will conduct further primary research consisting of a questionnaire to formulate a basis for public opinion, a focus group consisting of 3 males and 3 females from Gen Y or Z, interviews aimed towards those of older generations, and finally, my own personal reflection to act as a cross reference to what others have said from Gen X or Y. Integration of course concepts – 158 words

The topic outlined in my Introduction relates to the Society and Culture course in that it is essentially a study on the continuities or changes (brought upon by the onset of technology; Facebook) to the process in which social interaction occurs between individuals (i.e. persons) due to being socialised and encultured differently in our modern world (contrasted with those of previous generations). My topic can also be seen as an exploration into the power of Facebook over the psychological environment of individuals and their response towards it. Gender will also play a large role as it is the cross cultural element I’ve chosen to study. In my PIP I will not only try to integrate the past and present into my analysis, but also speculate about what the future holds in regards to my topic (i.e the elements of time). Facebook itself is a form of social media, as well as being a familiar element of pop culture.

Application of Methodologies – 272 words
In terms of research methodologies for primary research, I aim to gather sufficient quantities of both qualitative and quantitative data to have a balance of statistical and subjective data to integrate with my secondary research. I have decided on the use of a questionnaire distributed online with no restrictions to applicants so as to gain mainly qualitative data and a solid public opinion of the topic at hand. The advantages are that I am able to get balance of both types of qualitative and quantitative data from a single research methodology and my sample size is merely limited to those with an internet connection (meaning they will probably be familiar with Facebook). Disadvantages include the insincerity of answers due to the anonymity of the internet, and the uncontrolled parameters of the sample – i.e. I may not achieve my goal of equal gender. A focus group containing equal amounts of male and female participants of generation Y and/or Z will make up large amounts of qualitative data and shed some light on what the regular users of Facebook have to say in regards to my topic. The disadvantage to this methodology, however, is that it is extremely open ended and hard to record and thus analyse as well as...
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