Date of Award

Fall 11-27-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Dr. Svetlana Kulikova

Second Advisor

Dr. Amelia Arsenault

Third Advisor

Dr. Hongmei Li

Abstract

Facebook’s status as the world’s largest social networking platform is well documented. However, studies focusing on Facebook are largely limited to how individuals and businesses use the platform and not on how Facebook expands globally and affects markets and competition in foreign countries. Although international communication scholars have scrutinized the international expansion of major media corporations like Time Warner, Disney and News Corp., analysis on Facebook remains scarce. This thesis seeks to fill in the gap in scholarly research by conducting a meso-level (i.e. organizational level) analysis of Facebook’s expansion into developing countries through the theoretical lens of networks. The network perspective was chosen because it has previously facilitated the most comprehensive analysis of the globalizing strategies of media corporations. This paper simultaneously serves as a test of the applicability of theories of networked globalization and the Network Society to the global expansion of ICTs, and in particular, social-networking websites.

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