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Visual identity in Facebook
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2013 (English)In: Visual Studies, ISSN 1472-586X, Vol. 28, no 2, 122-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Seeing your friends in Facebook has become a common means of social interaction, illustrating a visual turn in digital media in general and social media in particular. This article explores visual identity in Facebook, focusing on the use of profile photographs in the performance of digitally mediated selfhood. In Facebook, relationships are increasingly communicated through images, thus rendering the interactive reflexivity of performance rather visible. Based on the profile photographs of students at an arts college in Tanzania, the article discusses the construction of cultural identities through visual communication. By visually expressing their selves through profile photographs, users engage in the social construction of reality, crafting their digitally mediated identities in interaction with their online social relations. The online performance of selfhood is analysed in the context of offline social and material realities, to underline cultural aspirations for global inclusion. Building on anthropological readings of performance, the concept of social aesthetic frame is introduced to capture patterns of digital stratification that encompass the online construction of networked selfhood in the peripheries of the global network society. The article builds on anthropological research on digital media and intercultural interaction at a national arts institute in Tanzania, using a combination of digital, sensory and visual research methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 28, no 2, 122-135 p.
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92662DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2013.801634ISI: 000321286300002OAI: diva2:640777


Available from: 2013-08-14 Created: 2013-08-14 Last updated: 2013-08-14Bibliographically approved

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Uimonen, Paula
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