Week 2 Class notes F’14 – Online identity

Posted: September 9, 2014 in Class notes

The main concepts I want to make sure you got are:

1. Goffman’s dramaturgical approach vs. (plus) Hogan’s exhibitional approach.

2. Identity as performance – or more, performativity. See Judith Butler explain the idea (3 min. video) that self & identity are not performed, but are created and re-created and constantly renegotiated. This is consistent with lines of thinking from symbolic interactionism and social psychology – see Gergen & Gergen, Narratives of the Self (pdf.) and also Andersen, S. M., & Chen, S. (2002). The relational self: An interpersonal social-cognitive theory. Psychological Review, 109(4), 619–645. doi:10.1037//0033-295X.109.4.619.

3. Context collapse. – this is related to how we manage multiple groups online. See also:

Lampinen, A., Tamminen, S., & Oulasvirta, A. (2009). “All My People Right Here, Right Now”: Management of group co-presence on a social networking site. Proc. GROUP ’09, 281. doi:10.1145/1531674.1531717

Stutzman, F., & Hartzog, W. (2012). Boundary regulation in social media. Proc. CHI ’12, 769–778. doi:10.1145/2145204.2145320

4. Lowest common denominator – aka the mother in law check.

A few selections from the many more interesting citations on this topic:

DiMicco, J. M., & Millen, D. R. (2007). Identity management: Multiple presentations of self in facebook. 2007 International ACM Conference on Supporting Group Work GROUP ’07, 383–386.

Mischaud, E. (2007). Twitter: Expressions of the whole self. An investigation into user appropriation of a web-based communications platform. London: Media@ lse. Retrieved May 20, 2008 From Http://Www. Lse. Ac. Uk/Collections/Media@ Lse/mediaWorkingPapers/MScDissertationSeries/Mi Sch Aud_Final. Pdf, 1–53.

Pike, J. V., Bateman, P. J., & Butler, B. S. (2009). I Didn’t Know You Could See That: The Effect of Social Networking Environment Characteristics on Publicness and Self-Disclosure, 1–9. Retrieved from http://www.katzis.org/wiki/images/e/ec/PikeBatemanButler2009.pdf

Mehdizadeh, S. (2010). Self-Presentation 2.0: Narcissism and Self-Esteem on Facebook. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 13(4), 357–364.

Marwick, A. E., & boyd, D. (2011). I tweet honestly, I tweet passionately: Twitter users, context collapse, and the imagined audience. New Media & Society, 13(1), 114–133. doi:10.1177/1461444810365313

My questions for you:

Did I miss anything? Do you have questions about any of this? Please comment. Also, what research questions emerge for you from these issues? For me, the focus is on context collapse. I try to figure out how to help students deal with this. And I inquire how various groups of people deal with context collapse and how they manage their various social groups across different social media.

To do:

Remember to tweet and blog and comment heavily this coming week so we can all get used to communicating with each other using these media. 


  1. esidnam says:

    Thank you for providing the additional resources! I think that some interesting research question from these readings are: Do social media users recognize an increasing tension between self-expression and self-monitoring in this age of “context collapse”? How often are users aware of a conflict between what they want to post and what they “should” post? How often do users experience anxiety as they decide what to post (or not to post)?