Much has been written about how social networking sites (SNS) have provided new avenues for self-expression, connectivity and 'self-creation' among young people, but few pay due attention to geographical and cultural variations. This article takes up the Japanese case by analysing how its youths engage with SNS, like MySpace and Mixi, within a framework of 'audience engagement' that encompasses the multiple dimensions of audience activities. Drawing on an ethnography of Japanese youths living in the media-rich Tokyo Metropolitan Area, this article discusses the following four dimensions of audience engagement: information-seeking activity, connectivity, bricolage and participation. While it is neither all about me in MySpace nor all about us in Mixi, it is suggested that MySpace is about me and them and Mixi is about me with them. Japanese young people reflexively create and re-create themselves in everyday life with to-ing and fro-ing in the spectrum between two different cultural values, via SNS.
- Audience engagement
- Internationalization of media studies
- Japanese young people
- Mobile phones
- SNS (social networking sites)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science