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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: The role of social networking sites in career management skills
Author(s): Needham, Kane
Supervisor(s): Griffiths, David
Lambert, Paul
Keywords: Social network
Social media
Career management
Social capital
Digital competence
Social surveys
Second-level digital divide
Structural inequality
Social mobility
Issue Date: Jul-2019
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The influential work of Rainie and Wellman (2012) posits that use of social networking sites as tools to harness resources of social relations are transformational in context of equality of opportunity in career attainment. This conceptualisation is rooted within social capital theory, whereby personal connections are viewed as potential resources (Lin, 1999) with important benefits for accessing new opportunities and knowledge (Granovetter, 1973, Burt, 1995). Social networking sites offer opportunities for people to network and expand their social capital networks (Rainie and Wellman, 2012), an important career management skill (SDS, 2012). Whilst many consider social networking site usage to be ubiquitous, skill levels required to use the internet productively are unevenly distributed amongst the online population, and closely reflect traditional forms of social and economic inequality (Hargittai, 2008a). This study investigates utility of SNS as a career management tool as envisaged by Rainie and Wellman (2012), whilst accounting for the second-level digital divide. Enquiry incorporates examination of the relationship between SNS use and career-related outcomes across these key themes. Secondary survey data are utilised exploring the general population, with primary data gathered on mothers of small child, students in further education, and people who have recently been made redundant. These groupings represent people at different career stages, with differing age profiles and different relationships with social media and the internet more generally. Findings show no consistent benefit to career outcomes associated with SNS use, suggesting that potential benefits are not realised. Although analyses related to the second-level digital divide hint at existence of systematic online inequality, precise identification is not achieved. There is no compelling evidence found that people’s social networking site usage is associated with career-based outcomes.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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