Whit raises a much smarter point than I do in her post yesterday at http://brycepeake.byethost10.com/?p=119 (which I hadn’t seen) — and that’s the privatization that’s at the core of facebook as a site. It’s no coincidence that it was founded by a bloody Ivy Leaguer and bears the imprimatur of the forms of privilege associated with it.
When I was at Brown, each year they held a celebration of wealth and power (not to mention the ability to drink prodigious amounts of liquor) known as Campus Dance. CD brought back alumna/e who would have their own booths (the Class of 1950, etc.), stocked with high-end booze. But more importantly, the University built a fence around the quad for the event, effectively materializing the boundaries of privilege that always ringed the campus.
Ellen Seiter has a terrific piece in Tara McPherson’s Digital Youth, Innovation, and the Unexpected that talks more specifically (and eloquently) about these processes of distinction.