My doctoral project deals with the French suburb’s media visibility on social media and its construction process. It aims at analyzing how media framing is made by highligthing the interactions and the inhabitant’s perception on social media by placing them at the center of the analysis. The thesis will focus on the participation and the reception of the media framing by the inhabitants, who access to new spaces of public expression with the social media.
The growth of the use and influence of social media trigger a question of democracy for the low-income classes : its representation and stigmatization (which fuel moral panics). The literature on the french suburb’s mediatization has so far focused on mass media and institutional, political or journalistic actors, overlooking new information practices such as social media and common actors, who are laypersons of public expression.
As part of this thesis, I am interested in the production of new frameworks, to their conditions of emergence and their functioning. Therefore I will first describe them and identify the actors, in order to conduct a network analysis and understand the interactions. I will also try to explain the role and the action of some users who are opinion leaders on social networks, in particular on the betweenness centrality which could create high visibility, and outside the digital realm. In addition, I would study the reception of the media framework through media practices and the appropriation of inhabitants while observing the impact of the digital divide and whether inhabitants develop resistances or « attention oblique » (a free traduction of Richard Hoggart by J-C Passeron about how the working classes get informed « in an oblique way »).
The particularity of this thesis is to articulate several quantitative and qualitative methodologies, as it mixes data from social media, related to the "big data", and qualitative data from interviews. Social media is a rich research material because it merges content data, images, biographies of users and data on interactions between users, but also tweets, retweets or follows.