Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Science, Technology & Society

Reader 1

Marianne de Laet

Reader 2

David Tanenbaum

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© 2007 Emma S. Spiro


Social networking sites and virtual spaces have flourished in the past few years. The author explores the impact of such social networking services on the local community at a small liberal arts college. The author investigates modern trends in community theory. Defining community has become more difficult in modern society, where community is no longer easily distinguished by geographical boundaries. From the background of modern community theory the author explores the designation of virtual spaces as “virtual communities.” Literature and research about virtual spaces indicates that they can provide many of the values thought be to inherent to community membership. The strong localized community on campus makes students hesitant in calling Facebook a “virtual community,” despite its strong integration with the face-to-face community itself. Facebook is seen as simply a tool. This thesis incorporates research on one specific case study: through mathematical and ethnographic research of, the author evaluates the opinions of students in considering virtual spaces as communities.


Previously linked to as:,15

OCLC number: 549439168