SNS (Social Networking Samoans): Exploring the ethnic identities of Samoan Facebook users in New Zealand.
Pau, Clara Kathryn
As digital media pervades the institutions and infrastructures of contemporary society with new inventions, new applications and new devices, so too does it pervade daily lived experiences. The social networking site Facebook.com is one such application which is highly integrated into the daily habits of individuals worldwide. The daily lived experiences of an individual contribute, according to the theorists in support of constructivism, to an individual’s ethnic identity. It has also been suggested that the reverse is true: ethnic identity also contributes to daily life. Despite the ubiquity of Facebook and the extensive writings on ethnic identity, there has been a limited contribution by scholars on how ethnic identity is manifested in and informs Facebook use. This thesis examines the daily Facebook use of seven Samoan individuals located in New Zealand. The thesis argues that key elements of their ethnic identities are manifested in and expressed through their use of the streamlined photograph, timeline post and friending Facebook functions. The thesis explains these three themes in terms of three N’s: Nationalism, Natives (and Immigrants) and Nostalgia.
Advisor: Tapsell, Paul; Reilly, Michael
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Te Tumu - School of Maori, Pacific and Indigenous Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Facebook; identity; Samoa; New Zealand; Social networking
Research Type: Thesis