Based on results collected through an ethnographic study, this article reviews the online and offline sociability practices of the “cultural community” of a medium-sized city in central France. This “localized social group” massively occupies various places of sociability, mainly cafés and association offices, scenes of affinitive relationships and of mutual acquaintances, but also the digital media, especially Facebook. The first part of this article presents a relational structure of the group constructed from the Facebook friends network. We will analyze it in the light of information on the individuals who compose it, collected through interviews and observations. This interpretative framework will allow us to understand the social practices observed together in physical and digital places. Even though our results advocate for continuity between online and offline social practices, especially regarding their social function (namely strengthening the group cohesion and borders), we will point out that the way individuals participate remains dependent on the nature of the place of sociability occupied, as well as on their position in the relational structure previously highlighted.
- Localized social stratification
- medium‑sized cities
- social networks
- digital sociability
- cultural fractions of the middle and upper classes