MySpace or mixi? Japanese engagement with SNS (social networking sites) in the global age

Toshie Takahashi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Much has been written about how social networking sites (SNS) have provided new avenues for self-expression, connectivity and 'self-creation' among young people, but few pay due attention to geographical and cultural variations. This article takes up the Japanese case by analysing how its youths engage with SNS, like MySpace and Mixi, within a framework of 'audience engagement' that encompasses the multiple dimensions of audience activities. Drawing on an ethnography of Japanese youths living in the media-rich Tokyo Metropolitan Area, this article discusses the following four dimensions of audience engagement: information-seeking activity, connectivity, bricolage and participation. While it is neither all about me in MySpace nor all about us in Mixi, it is suggested that MySpace is about me and them and Mixi is about me with them. Japanese young people reflexively create and re-create themselves in everyday life with to-ing and fro-ing in the spectrum between two different cultural values, via SNS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-475
Number of pages23
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Audience engagement
  • Bricolage
  • Connectivity
  • Ethnography
  • Globalization
  • Internationalization of media studies
  • Japanese young people
  • Mobile phones
  • SNS (social networking sites)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science


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