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A literature overview on online social networks from sociological perspective
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The idea of social network is not new at all, because humans have the instinctive need for searching and creating communities. Even in ancient times when there was any kind of communication, cooperation, or exchanging between persons, groups etc., social network existed. For thousands of years, social networks developed slowly in human societies in its old and traditional fashion until a great invention—the Internet—made its appearance in last century.

The invention of the Internet and advancement in information technologies have changed the world and people’s ways of living, providing humans with a brand new way to construct their communities and knit their social networks not in real life, but in a virtual world. Then Online Social Networks (OSNs) appear. From then on, more and more people begin to use OSNs sites or applications to keep up their social relations.

Nowadays, more and more people come to realize that OSNs are greatly changing their ways of living, learning, consuming and working. Just within several years, OSN sites and applications have found their way into almost every aspect of our personal and professional lives, and consequently affect their work and life in many ways. Therefore, a lot of researches have been carried out to study OSNs: some were conducted from social network perspective to study features and attributes of OSN itself; some focused on various topics related to OSNs from the perspective of the actors, studying OSN’s influences over the psychology or personality of the actors or exploring consequences brought about by OSN to people’s life and professions, etc.

This paper aims at summarizing some basic conceptions of OSN, related theoretical grounds, research methods and some typical studies carried out about it. The first chapter is to introduce a brief background about OSN; the second chapter will present purposes and principles of this research; the third chapter deals with method used in this research; the fourth chapter discusses different OSN researches from different perspectives; the fifth chapter is conclusion and future research suggestions. This review is supposed to provide some basic ideas about OSNs and related researches, so that a further study of this field can be carried on.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 23 p.
Keyword [en]
Online social network, online social media, social network site, mobile social network, social network analysis, social perspective
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology) Work Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-38313OAI: diva2:867168
Subject / course
Working Life Science - Master's thesis (one year) (15 ECTS credits)
Educational program
One Year Master in Working Life Science
Available from: 2015-11-10 Created: 2015-11-04 Last updated: 2015-11-10Bibliographically approved

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