Studying the youth interests through the thematic repertoire of student communication: a case study of Vkontakte social network
Keywords:interests, social network, thematic repertoire, communication, gender differences, content, activity, youth, rating, IT methods
The article substantiates the relevance of a sociological approach to the study of young students' interests in social networks. The authors analyze the results of a study involving young students who use the thematic communication repertoire in the Vkontakte network’s social groups. The study applies IT methods for processing and analyzing biographical data, analysis and statistics methods, and machine learning. The sample consists of 171,972 unique participants who joined the network’s social groups. The authors draw up a rating of groups on various topics based on the number of group participants, present the results of the analysis of student thematic repertoire and reveal the interests of the group participants. The article describes general and specific directions of student interests in different universities, explores the features of interactions between the participants in popular groups, and defines gender differences and various cognitive orientations depending on the place of studies. The authors provide insight into the nature of the cognitive orientation of student interests and the possibilities to influence the interests through certain content, and the weak student activity in the “corporate” social groups of the universities.