Last updated 08.04.2008

None of these are formal journal article publications. I may submit one or two of them (after enough work cleaning them up!) but for the time being I present them to you as they are, works in progress.

The Missing Box: The Racial Politics behind The Facebook Interface (updated!)

Facebook and the Digital Divide | Summer 2008

There is no race, ethnicity or nationality category available the default Facebook profile.  This, combined with the fact that Facebook is a visually-driven website, suggests that Facebook serves to inadvertently or covertly perpetuate two racist or discriminatory norms: the colorblind mentality and racialized visual classification of others.

This paper quickly traverses through a basic theory of identity that dictates that persons incur an on-going dialectic between individual and social identity, both on and offline. It contends that Facebook is an advantageous place to perform and portray one’s social identity and is largely visually-driven, therefore the interface is of paramount importance.  Racial, ethnic, or national identity is of significance to many individuals and the lack of a place to express this is a form of discrimination.  Such a category should be added to Facebook’s set of basic identity options. Guidelines for a successful implementation are provided.

If you're looking for a short powerful read jump on this one.

Performance and Construction of Identity

Masters Paper | Summer 2008

A massive overview of Facebook, this treatise explores the performance of identity on Facebook though examining pertinent literature and data from surveys conducted over two years.

A huge review of everything related to Identity and Facebook to date (well late 2007 or so). Very comprehensive.

Reflections on Cyborging of the Mind in a Permanently Beta Ecology (forthcoming)

Science and Technology Studies Theory | TBA, as I find time.

A large chunk of the theory portion from Jeff's second Masters paper draft. Provides an interesting method for analyzing Facebook.

Gender Roles and Group Discourse

A brief escapade in digital ethnography: exploring sexism | Spring 2008

This paper investigates via limited [introductory] ethnography the happenings in one particularly large and active Facebook group, “There Are Some Things Guys Should Always Do For Girls. Period.” As the analysis shows, this group holds implications for the perpetuation of gender inequality through the cyberspace medium.  Educators must take heed and learn to understand the new arenas of discourse surrounding gender if they are to effectively reach youth audiences today.

For feminists this is a must-read!

Social Capital and the Chief

Diversity Research Project: accessing campus climate in regards to race | Fall 2007

This research report reveals rather shocking student use of Facebook regarding perspectives on Chief Illiniwek, the recently removed mascot/symbol of the University of Illinois. Inspired by a class tasked with investigating the race-related campus climate at UIUC the paper draws on the preliminary findings from a half semester project. The work includes sociological analysis informed by (digital) social capital and social work leadership theory, and uses content analysis and statistics to make suggestions for further analysis and potential areas in need of social change.

Jeff presented for this paper at the Ethnography of the University Initiative Conference, feel free to see the PowerPoint presentation for a quick overview.

Background on Facebook

An Overview of Facebook | Summer 2008

An excerpt from Jeff's Masters, this gives a reasonably good summary of Facebook's importance, development, and reasons for success.

Presented as is, best read in the context

Essay: Props to Facebook

Short introductory editorial essay | Summer 2007

Most of the news coverage and studies on Facebook out in the wild are obsessed with demonizing the SNS. It's about time we stop chanting fear and take a realistic look at the ups and downs of Facebook, emphasizing the pros. Jeff took some time to answer some of the most common questions slung by critics and offer solutions. This is a short editorial expressing Jeff's opinions and interests related Facebook - in his positive and enthusiastic style.

Updated and too defensive, but it gives a bit of a perspective into Jeff's early efforts to study Facebook.

Essay: The Kevin Bacon Effect

Short exploratory essay | Summer 2007

Facebook is all about a network of connections and relationships. This essay explores the concept of connectors mapped to Facebook as well as social epidemics in relation to Facebook.

The Research Proposal

A literature review and proposal | Spring 2007

Jeff's original proposal of research back in Spring 2007. Most of the material in here should be considered out dated, but it might still have some good ideas...