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Streaks, Stories, and Social Capital: A Bourdieusian Approach to Teenagers’ Use of Snapchat

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Title: Streaks, Stories, and Social Capital: A Bourdieusian Approach to Teenagers’ Use of Snapchat
Author: Green, Brianna
Department: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Program: Sociology
Advisor: Broll, Ryan
Abstract: Snapchat¬ is one of the most popular social media platforms used by young people. On Snapchat, users can directly message or broadcast time-limited pictures and videos to each other. To date, research into teenagers using social media has included platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but there is little research regarding how teenagers use Snapchat. Drawing upon a Bourdieusian framework to interpret Snapchat as a field in which young people struggle for social capital, this study explores Snapchat use among high school students in Southern Ontario through semi-structured interviews. The findings suggest teenagers use Snapchat to enhance their social capital through prosocial and antisocial behaviours, respectively. Based on these findings, I encourage 1) future researchers to consider peer group dynamics, both online and offline, when conceptualizing young people’s social capital, and 2) parents and teachers to promote prosocial behaviour on social media as opposed to limiting young people’s access to social media.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/17868
Date: 2020-04
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