Chapter 6, “Social Networking,” in Bucher’s (2015) Diversity Consciousness: Opening Our Minds to People, Cultures, and Opportunities presents the discussion of social networking while focusing on the idea of diversity in this context. The purpose of this paper is to provide a summary of Chapter 6, discuss associated challenges, and relate the content of the chapter to the primary text. It is also important to provide thoughts regarding the discussed aspects from personal and professional perspectives.
Provide a Clear, Detailed Summary of Your Assigned Chapter
In Chapter 6, Bucher (2015) discussed the following concepts: the notion of social networking, differences between online and face-to-face networking, the specific social context of networking, social dynamics associated with networking, diversity consciousness in the context of online networking, diversity issues, ways to expand diversity, and benefits of social networks. According to Bucher (2015), social networking is a process of making functional connections with other people, and a social network is a specific set of ties to find a job or contact friends.
In this network, persons are viewed as nodes, and connections are their ties. The difference between online and face-to-face networking is in a channel used to build connections. Using modern technologies, people can develop connections and social networks with many diverse individuals despite geographic, cultural, or economic barriers.
The specific social context of networking is associated with the environment in which individuals live and interact, but in online networking, people can develop both strong and weak ties with persons whom they know and contact regularly and persons who are just followers in social media. The author also referred to social dynamics related to networking and their recent changes (Bucher, 2015). Today, technologies allow more people to participate in social networking than it was a decade ago. There are also digital natives or young persons who know how to use technologies since their childhood.
The next important point discussed by Bucher (2015) is diversity consciousness in the context of online social networking. According to the author, using profiles in social media, a person can become more aware of oneself and understand diversity about his or her social contacts. People pay much attention to online identity management in social networks to influence other people’s perceptions and visions. Using social media, people also develop their skills regarding diversity consciousness. Thus, they learn how to communicate, negotiate, and cooperate with diverse individuals. According to Bucher (2015), developing their diversity consciousness with the help of social networking, people also learn how to assume diversity, seek out diversity, and leverage it.
In this chapter, the author also described approaches to expanding the diversity of social networks while making social media more powerful, maximizing social capital, and bridging and bonding while communicating with more diverse strangers. Still, there are also some issues associated with diversity-related to networking. They include digital divides, identity tourism, online microaggressions, and cyberbullying, and they can be associated with such issues as prejudice and discrimination (Bucher, 2015).
Finally, the author listed the benefits of diverse online networks associated with collaboration, the wisdom of crowds, specific diversity discussions, resource sharing, collective action, and personal empowerment. As a result, diverse social networking enables people to discuss and realize their ideas, cooperate, and use resources more effectively despite possible geographic, cultural, or social barriers.
What Challenge(s) Did the Author or Subject of the Chapter Face?
Analyzing diversity issues associated with social networks, Bucher (2015) focused on the following challenges related to the topic: the impossibility to overcome the digital divide at national and global levels within a short period, the impossibility to control identity tourism, limited access to social networks for people with disabilities, cyberbullying, and default whiteness. Thus, despite the spread of technologies, many people in the world cannot use social media and build online networks because of a range of factors: access to the Internet at regional, national, and global levels, the development of computer skills, age, and gender.
These factors are known as the digital divide. One more challenge is identity tourism that allows users of social networks to develop any identity they want while fabricating data. As a result, such situations create possibilities for bias, offenses, cyberbullying, and discrimination.
Another challenge is related to disabilities. The problem is that many individuals with disabilities are limited in their access to online networks because of their income and employment status. Still, according to Bucher (2015), these people’s specific disabilities do not prevent them from using the Internet in the majority of cases. However, the lack of information presented in different forms on websites can also become a challenge for individuals with some physical impairment.
Cyberbullying is one more issue to discuss. The problem is that cyberbullying is anonymous, and victims can be reached almost anywhere. To avoid significant psychological traumas and social consequences, this issue should be addressed at the national level. One more challenge to diversity mentioned by the author is default whiteness that is an assumption that all people have views, values, and interests typical of white people.
What Aspects (List at least 2) of Our Primary Text (Diversity Consciousness) Relate to Your Assigned Chapter. Provide a Clear Link to the Text and Reference Here
The topic of social networking discussed in Chapter 6 is related to aspects described in other chapters of Bucher’s (2015) book, such as electronic communication and microaggressions analyzed in Chapter 5. Electronic communication allows people to interact while using different devices and technologies. Individuals can share knowledge, resources, messages, and ideas without being limited by any borders. In this context, social networking is only one of the ways to promote electronic communication. The exchange of resources and messages is possible on different social websites that can address diverse people’s needs.
One more aspect to focus on is microaggressions. In the real world, microaggressions are described as individuals’ statements that can negatively affect diverse persons despite the positive intentions of a speaker. These unintentional biases are also typical for electronic communication. Moreover, microaggressions are also characteristic of online social networking when users of social media can be affected by utilizing pull-down menus or other functions categorized depending on race or gender factors, for example. Microaggressions can also be found in online posts and messages because anonymous users can ignore diverse people’s identities while posting racial or biased information and commentaries.
Provide Your Thoughts on How We Should Honor Disability Without Dishonoring the Individual? Provide a Personal and Professional Perspective
While referring to social networking, people can honor disability and diversity without affecting persons when they post unbiased facts and opinions and do not write offensive comments. From a personal perspective, it is important not to make assumptions regarding experiences, abilities, or barriers faced by people with disabilities to avoid the impact of one’s identity and visions on individuals with disabilities. In this situation, communication using social networks will become more comfortable and unbiased.
From a professional perspective, people with disabilities should use social networks to avoid their social isolation or exclusion. Thus, it is possible to promote communication in social network groups that unite people with disabilities. However, the focus should be not on uniting people who are excluded because of their disability but on uniting people who can share similar experiences and important information to build strong connections.
This paper has presented a detailed summary of Chapter 6. Challenges associated with the chapter content have been discussed. The information presented in the chapter is related to the primary text. Finally, personal thoughts regarding the chapter have been provided.
Bucher, R. D. (2015). Diversity consciousness: Opening our minds to people, cultures, and opportunities (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.