This paragraph is from our recent book, Mesch, Gustavo and Ilan Talmud. (2010) Wired Youth The Social World of Adolescence in the Information Age. Pp. 119-136. Routledge. http://www.amazon.com/Wired-Youth-Adolescence-Information-Society/dp/041545994X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of exposure to online risks and parental mediation on the likelihood of cyberbullying in a large and representative sample of the youth population of the U.S.
Conceptualization of Cyberbullying
This study relies on the routine-activities theory of victimization (Felson and Cohen, 1979). The basic assumption underlying the lifestyle exposure theory is that differences in the likelihood of victimization are attributed to differences in personal lifestyles of the victims. Variations in lifestyles are important because they are related to exposure to dangerous spaces where there are high risks of victimization. In victimization studies, space is a critical element. Cohen and Felson (1979), contend that exposure to personal victimization is more likely when there is a convergence in space of motivated offenders, suitable targets, and absence of effective guardianship.
In order to apply this perspective to Internet studies, the internet should be considered as a new space of activity of youth. The innovative aspect of the Internet is to provide opportunities for activities that induce social interaction resulting in providing a space for meeting new individuals, and in that sense the social use represents more than a communication channel, in many cases a space of social activity. Feld (1981) uses the concept of foci of activity, defining them as “social, psychological, legal or physical objects around which joint activities are organized.” From this perspective, foci of activity place individuals in proximity (for example, they provide opportunities for frequent meetings), which causes individuals to reveal themselves to each other.The Internet bring individuals to perform many regular activities and social interaction develops.
As youth use the Internet for their daily routine activities it can be argued that online activities differ in the extent that they expose youth to risks of being bullied. Consistent with this argument there is some evidence that Internet frequent use and high level of Internet skills increase the risk of being online bullied . It can be expected, that youth that participate in Internet activities in which there is a high likelihood of providing contact and personal information are at a higher risk that youth that use the Internet mainly to search for information provided in web pages. Thus in this study is expected that having a profile in a social networking site and participating in a clip sharing site increase the risk of being bullied online.
Online bullying requires some knowledge about the victim. When conducting online activities, individuals differ in the extent that they are willing to share personal information. Some are less willing to provide contact and personal information than others. Thus, it is expected that individuals that express more willingness to provide personal information are at a higher risk of being bullied than the ones that are express more reservations in sharing this information.
An additional concept in routine activity theories is guardianship that refers to the use of protective activities to decrease the risk of victimization and refers to actions or people whose presence would discourage a crime from taking place. Guardianship may have a ‘human element’, that is usually a person that by their mere presence would deter potential offenders from perpetrating an act. A capable guardian could also be an electronic device such as a closed capture camera providing that someone is monitoring it at the other end of the camera.
This concept has been used slightly different in the media literature. Parental mediation is a concept that has been used in media research to understand the process of television influence on audience attitudes and behaviors. According to the parental mediation model individuals are exposed to media content that may affect their attitudes and behaviors ( Rothfuss-Buerkel, & Buerkel. 2001) The model assumes that this effect is mediated by intervening variables in a way that the extent that some viewers may adopt attitudes and behaviors presented in the media is dependent on parent activities that affects how the information is received, processed and acted on by the audiences(Bybee, Robinson and Turow (1982). According to the literature there are various types of mediation, but we restrict our discussion to only two techniques: 1 Restrictive mediation involves limiting the child amount of viewing time and the programs watched. It is restrictive as does not involve the active participation of the child and is a decision of the parent. In this study it was measured by the use of electronic devices that restrict the content and web sites that the youth is exposed to. 2. Evaluative mediation represents the open discussion on issues related to Internet use, evaluation of content and subsequently the joint creation of rules regarding amount of time for Internet use, websites that are allowed and not allowed and placing the computer in a common space that allows parents to co-use the internet with their children and to be available for questions (Eastin, Bradley, Greenberg & Hofschire, 2006; Bybee, Robinson & Turow (1982).
Age and gender should be considered as well. Studies have found that the risk of being bullied is higher for older adolescents and lower for younger adolescents (Patchin and Hinduja, 2006; Mitchell et al, 2007). This age difference may be the result of developmental factors that affect the extent and type of Internet use. It is very likely that as youth growth older they engage in more activities with unknown others that result in an increased risk for being bullied online. The evidence regarding gender differences in exposure to cyberbullyng is mixed. Some studies did not find gender differences, and boys and males did not differ in the extent of self reported cyber bullying (Li, 2006; Mitchell, et. al, 2007; Pachin and Hinduja, 2006; Hinduja and Patchin, 2008). Yet there is some evidence that boys and girls use the Internet differently and are exposed to different types of parental mediation.
Participants comprised 935 teens aged 12 to 17 years old and their parents living in continental US. Participants were recruited by means of a representative sample of the youth population of the U.S. The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates int. Interviews were conducted during the October-November 2006. The response rate for the survey was 46 percent.
we compared youth that have reported being a victim of cyber bullying with the ones that have not. Victims and non victims did differ in terms of their family social background. Youth reporting having been victim of online bullying, their parents report on average a higher education than youth that report not have been a victim of bullying (M=5.02, SD= 1.53 and M=4.09, SD= 1.52, p<.001). Online victims of bullying are on average older than non-victims. While the average age of victims of online bullying is 15.11 the average age of the non victims is 14.43 (p<.01). Gender is associated with bullying and it was found that while only 39 percent of the males were victims, 61 percent of the girls reported being bullied at least once.
Regarding the existence of parental rules, parents of non-victims are more likely to have rules on Internet use. The percentage of non victims of bullying reporting the existence of parental rules on web sites that are allowed to visit, time that they are allowed to be online, is higher among non-victims than among victims.
Online activities were found associated with online bullying. When inspecting the association of reporting being bullied and online activities a significant association was found between victimization and having an active profile in social network site (Chi=93.68 p</001), participation in public chat rooms (Chi=16.78 p<.001) and participation in youtube (Chi=27.70 p<.001). Online bullying was not found to be associated with playing online games. In the next step a multivariate analysis using logistic regression modeling was conducted because the dependent variable victimization is a dummy variable. Youth that frequently send text messages, IM messages and emails to their friends are at a higher risk of victimization. Furthermore, independently of online activities youth that are willing to disclose more personal information are at a higher risk of victimization than children that are less willing to disclose personal information.
Regarding the potential protective effect of parental mediation, the results are mixed. From all the restrictive mediation techniques, only monitoring web sites visited by the youth decreases the risk of victimization. The existence of rules on sites that the children are allowed to visit is statistically significant indicating that the existence of this rule decreases the odds of online cyber bullying victimization. However, other rules such as computer location, rule on time allowed to be online and rules on information share were not found to have a statistically significant effect.
The results indicate that online participation in online communication of any type is an increased risk of victimization and that parental monitoring providing guidance and restriction to web sites is effective as a protective mechanism.
An important finding is that one of the measures of evaluative mediation, namely rules on websites that adolescents are allowed to visit, was statistically significant decreasing the risk of exposure to online bullying. This result, while modest, informs us on the important role of parents engaging in conversations on the nature of websites, their content and their possible risks. Some of these sites might be related directly to the risk of victimization if parents discussing online risks are able to create awareness in youth of the potential risks of engaging in discussions in chat rooms and participating in social network sites.
An early version of the manuscript can be found at
Quarterly Journal of the
North Central Sociological Association
Volume 43 May 2010 Editor: Gustavo S. Mesch
Table of Contents, May 2010
The Organizational Practice of Gendered Employment: Disparate Impact and
Gender Segregation in the Japanese Entry-Level Labor Market
Explaining the Gender Gap in Professors’ Intentions to Leave
Vicki L. Dryfhout and Sarah Beth Estes
Diversity, Macrosociology, and Religious Belonging: Using Mixed-Level Models in Examining Spatial Variation and the Closed Community Thesis
Jeremy R. Porter
Identity Consequences of Religious Changing: Effects of Motivation for
Change on Identity Outcomes
Robert M. Carrothers
Information, Communication & Society,
Volume 13 Issue 4 2010
Gustavo S. Mesch & Shanyang Zhao, special issue Editors
Gauging and debunking the effects of ICTs
Gustavo S. Mesch; Shanyang Zhao
Pages 467 – 469
THE CONSUMPTION OF ONLINE NEWS AT WORK
Making sense of emerging phenomena and rethinking existing concepts
Pablo Javier Boczkowski
Pages 470 – 484
TECHNOLOGY USE AND EMPLOYEE ASSESSMENTS OF WORK EFFECTIVENESS, WORKLOAD, AND PACE OF LIFE
Pages 485 – 514
|PREDICTORS AND CONSEQUENCES OF DIFFERENTIATED PRACTICES ON SOCIAL NETWORK SITES
Eszter Hargittai; Yu-li Patrick Hsieh
Pages 515 – 536
NONE OF US IS AS LAZY AS ALL OF US
A CASE STUDY OF THE FAILURE OF DIGITAL COMMUNICATION TO CROSS KNOWLEDGE BOUNDARIES IN VIRTUAL CONSTRUCTION
North Central Sociological Association
2011 Annual Conference
The Hyatt at the Arcade in Cleveland, Ohio, March 31 – April 2, 2011
The conference theme this year is Pragmatism in Research and Education
What is the purpose of scientific inquiry? The characteristic idea of philosophical pragmatism is that ideas and practices should be judged in terms of their usefulness, workability, and practicality and that these are the criteria of their truth, rightness and value. Both classical Pragmatism and contemporary Neo-Pragmatism have had a deep impact on social science. It is a perspective that stresses the priority of action over vague principles. In deciding how to deal with any complex social problem a useful question to ask is what practical difference any specific theoretical distinction might make. As sociologists and social scientists, are we involved in a search for truth? Are we seeking consensus or agreement on the patterns and nature of human experience? What is it that we wish to discover about human interaction in research, practice, education, service, and involvement in both communities of scholarship and the real lived experience of human society? How important are “interpretive networks”? These questions suggest that a further exploration of our philosophy and practice might be useful. Better theorizing in the discipline will help us as we work to develop teaching and research as a complement and alternative to the dominant models of ‘disinterested’ social science, and to reframe research activities and address a broader range of concerns than traditional questions of scientific validity. Research, teaching, and other sessions might address the theoretical involvement in social amelioration. Or these sessions might investigate how political action, various social events, military engagements, civil society, criminality, religious rituals and faith traditions, community spaces, popular culture, artistic endeavors, and social media and the Internet further a pragmatic concern in the discipline of sociology. We welcome all proposals for papers and panels that bring scholarly and theoretical interests in pragmatism to bear on relevant concepts in the contemporary age. But we also welcome papers which authors may not necessarily feel fall into the main theme of the conference.
Keynote speaker: Jack A. Goldstone is the Virginia E. and John T. Hazel Jr. Professor at the George Mason School of Public Policy and an eminent scholar. His work on issues such as social movements, revolutions, and international politics has won him global acclaim. The author or co-author of nine books, Professor Goldstone is a leading authority on regional conflicts, has served on a U.S. Vice-Presidential Task Force on State Failure, and is a consultant to the U.S. State Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
If you are interested in organizing a session, send a title and a very brief description of your session to the appropriate conference organizers by August 15, 2010:
Research Paper Sessions Organizer:
Carrie Erlin, Saint Mary’s College email@example.com
Teaching Sessions Organizer:
Melinda Messineo, Ball State University firstname.lastname@example.org
Thematic Panels and Workshops Organizer:
Art Jipson, University of Dayton email@example.com
If you have any questions about whether your session would be appropriate or would like to organize a session directly related to the conference theme of Pragmatism in Research and Education, please contact: Art Jipson, Program Chair and 2011 Annual Conference Organizer, University of Dayton firstname.lastname@example.org
NCSA 2011 Conference Deadlines
April 21, 2010 Call for Organizers circulated
August 15, 2010 Session Organizers have session information to Conference Organizer
August 30, 2010 Call for Papers circulated
December 15, 2010 Paper and Presenter information Due to Session Organizers
January 1, 2011 All session information Due to 2011 Annual Conference Organizer
January 15, 2011 Notification of Acceptance of Papers, Panels, and Workshops
February 15, 2011 Hotel Registration Deadline
March 31 – April 2, 2011 2011 NCSA Conference
Authors: Caroline Haythornthwaite; Lori Kendall
BRIDGING DISABILITY DIVIDES
Author: Elizabeth Ellcessor
THE INTERPENETRATION OF TECHNICAL AND LEGAL DECISION-MAKING FOR THE INTERNET
Author: Sandra Braman
YOUTUBE AND PROPOSITION 8
Authors: Kjerstin Thorson; Brian Ekdale; Porismita Borah; Kang Namkoong; Chirag Shah
THE EXPERIENCE OF CONNECTIVITY
Author: Matthew Allen
HOW OFFLINE GATHERINGS AFFECT ONLINE COMMUNITIES
Author: Lauren F. Sessions
HOW EXECUTIVES PERCEIVE THE NET GENERATION
Authors: Karine Barzilai-Nahon; Robert M. Mason
GETTING THE WHOLE PICTURE?
Authors: Susan Halford; Ann Therese Lotherington; Aud Obstfelder;
“Digital divide” is a concept in use to denote differences in
between groups of the population. The concept has being coined out of the recognition that access, use and Internet skills provide advantages that are required in the information age. Information is becoming more and more digitalized, communications are being sustained through internet platforms and the ones that are at disadvantage in access, use and lack skills are deprivated from this resources.
In recent years, less attention is being paid to inequality in access and more to inequalities in skills and use. Yet, in this post I want to warn from making methodological and thus, social policy mistakes.
1. there is still a digital divide in access. In most western countries around a quarter of the population do not have access.
2. Access is not randomly distributed. It is much higher among disadvantaged minority groups. For example, access is lower for African-Americans and Mexican-Americans in the use, is lower for the Turkish in Germany, is lower for the Arabs in Israel.
3. Use is also not randomly distributed. When comparing within a minority group between the ones with access and the ones without access, the results are likely to be that the average education and income of members of minority groups with access is higher and similar to the level of the majority of the population while the ones without access are by far the less educated within the ethnic group.
4. This result is important. Why? because indicated an amplification of the existing inequalities in society. The educated and well off members of the minority groups are getting ahead (nothing wrong with this, the other way around). But, the disadvantaged members of the minority are not only staying behind but becoming segregated not only from the members of the majority but also from the members of their own group.
The remainds to me the idea of Julius Wilson, a professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago that wrote a book indicating that equal opportunity provided opportunities for the members of the African American middle class to residentially and socially separate themselves from the Black underclass that become more and more disadvantaged.
I am suggesting than when conducting research on Internet users to be aware of the sample selection bias of the minority group and be carefull to conclude that in Facebook there is racial integration. This post is inspired by some findings that I am getting in analyzing data on digital divide and on the social inequality in access to health information
The debate on privacy in the information age is going on and on… personally I think that is important to bring this two quotations to increase our awareness that commercial interests are interested in changing social norms, to create a “business” environment that allows to them to increase their revenues based on our privacy.
“Privacy is dead, deal with it,” Sun MicroSystems CEO Scott McNealy is widely reported to have declared some time ago.
In a recent interview with CNBC Google CEO Eric Schmidt said: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
A conceptual debate following the expansion of computer mediated (CMC) communication is on the question of whether CMC has generative effects on our behavior. In a new study, Guy Becker and I, linked these two questions: disclosure of personal information and CMC effects in a recent study and investigated whether norms of self-disclosure of online and offline identity are linked to online disclosure of personal and intimate information.
Various perspectives suggest that CMC exercises generative or dishinbitive effect that encourage disclosure of personal information. A number of CMC characteristics have been suggested as conducive to this norm generation. The medium’s relative anonymity has been associated with flexible norms of online disclosure t. The perceived anonymity offered by CMC lowers the danger of future isolation and thus enables a higher level of self disclosure. Joinson (2003) studied patterns of youths’ romantic confessions (a behavior with many intense affective future outcomes) and found a higher willingness to confess romantic intentions by email than face-to-face (FTF).
Anonymity seems to support a disinhibition effect, i.e., the loss of constraints that a person experiences when behavior is no longer controlled by concerns about self-presentation or judgments by others (Joinson, 2003). In CMC research, disinhibition is often considered a precursor of online self-disclosure.
Thus, we expected that
H1: Norms of online information disclosure will be positively associated with actual online information disclosure.
H2: According to the CMC generative perspective, norms of disclosure of face-to-face information will be associated with norms of online information disclosure.
The generative approach implicitly implies that intensity of exposure to the Internet is associated with the dissociation between norms of online and offline disclosure of information. Individuals need to become immersed in the online communication task, in order to perceived the other according to internal consciousness factors including biased impressions of the other that generate a perception of trust that leads to different norms of disclosure of online information. Thus, we expected that
H3: online information disclosure is associated with intensity of Internet usage, so the higher the use of the Internet, the higher the disclosure of information online.
Given that self-disclosure to peers increases in adolescence (Buhrmester & Prager, 1995) and that blogs provide adolescents with a means for peer communication, we expected.
H4: Disclosure of personal information to be associated with age, so the younger the user, the less he/she will disclose online information.
* Having a public online personal profile is positively correlated with been alright to provide email address, IM screen name, and link to a personal blog.
*Having a personal photograph on the web in a space accessible to all is positively and statistically significantly correlated with alright to provide e-mail address, IM screen name, and link to a personal blog.
*The same results were found for posting a clip on the web in a space accessible to all.
Accordingly, these findings support the hypothesis that norms of online behavior are correlated with actual behavior online.
H2 predicted that norms of face-to-face information disclosure will not be associated with online information disclosure norms.
* The correlations of norms supporting disclosure of personal and online identity information were low or non-significant. For example, the correlation between alright to provide last name and email address was .10, and that between alright to provide school name and email address was .09. At the same time, the correlation between alright to provide last name and IM screen name, and that between alright to provide last name and link to the personal blog, were non-significant.
No indication appears here as to any association between norms of disclosure of offline personal identity and of online identity. The findings award some merit to CMC theories of generative effects of the media and the use of specific norms of online behavior. Further support for this argument requires finding no correlation between norms of disclosure of offline information and online behavior, and a correlation between norms of disclosure of online identity information and online behavior.
The following correlations do support this possibility.
1. there are only three small, negative and significant correlations between norms of offline identity disclosure and online behavior. Alright to disclose last name is negatively correlated with having an online profile (-.07), and alright to provide home phone number is also negatively correlated to having a profile online (-.07). While statistically significant, these correlations are very low, and the others are non-significant indicating hardly any association between norms of disclosure of personal information and norms of disclosure of online identity information.
2. positive and statistically significant correlations exist between norms of disclosure of online identity and online behavior.
According to H3 online information disclosure is associated with intensity of Internet usage, so the higher the use of the Internet, the higher will be the disclosure of information online. The results support the hypothesis and positive and statistically significant correlations were found between frequency of Internet usage and the three measures of norms of disclosure of online identity information. Positive statistically significant correlations were found between frequency of internet usage and online behavior.
H4 predicted that age will be positively associated with disclosure of online information and H5 predicted that girls will disclose more online information than boys.
The analysis showed a link between gender and frequency of social norms supporting private information disclosure. According to the correlation matrix, norms of personal information disclosure are age-dependent as well. Positive correlations were found between age and alright to disclose last name and school’s name. Also, a positive association was found between age and alright to disclose online information such as email account, IM screen name and personal blog.. Yet, no gender differences were found in supporting norms of online identity disclosure and girls were more likely to disclose online information. Thus, H5 was supported.
The results provide an indication that disclosure of online identity information is associated with a media generative effect.
Norms of offline-identity information disclosure were not related to norms of online-identity disclosure, indicating that they are not associated with online behavior.
Our findings indicate that youth hold two different sets of norms that are not related: one that indicates when, and under what circumstances, personal identification information may be disclosed to others, and the other regarding what details of online identity to disclose. Furthermore, the most important and significant result of this study is that norms of online-identity disclosure are associated with online behavior but not with norms of disclosure of personal information (like last name, address, phone number and school name).
The study hypotheses were tested by a secondary analysis of the 2006 Pew and American life survey of parents and teens. This data set is particularly appropriate for this study as it was drawn from a representative sample of the US youth population and is probably the only known data set that included in the survey measures of privacy norms and online behavior.
The Parents & Teens 2006 Survey was sponsored by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, a non-partisan and non profit organization that collects data and provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Project produces reports exploring the impact of the internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life.
Guy Becker and I thank to the Pew Internet and American Life Project for providing access to the data.
The paper will be published in Human Communication Research. An earlier version is available at http://soc.haifa.ac.il/~gustavo/norms%20of%20disclosure%20mesch&becker.pdf