Small Places Turned Inside-Out

Social Networking in Small Communities

Authored by: Tom McDonald , Razvan Nicolescu , Jolynna Sinanan

The Routledge Companion to Digital Ethnography

Print publication date:  December  2016
Online publication date:  January  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138940918
eBook ISBN: 9781315673974
Adobe ISBN: 9781317377788


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In smaller communities with small populations—as opposed to large cities and metropolitan areas—social life is characterized by a strong sense of mutual familiarity: people knowing (or at least knowing of) one another through extended families, work or vocational networks. This chapter argues that for such “small communities,” social relations are relatively more intense and confined, and these dynamics play out in particular ways over uses of social media, where people both conform to norms, expectations and values which they share with others and express their individual opinions and aspirations at the same time, often through careful navigation of private and more public-facing platforms.

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