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  • Summarizes some work I have been doing over the past couple of years on social behaviors online all leading to a group of conclusions/suggestions/future questions about….
  • Please do not expect the internet to be anything but ordinaryIt is not the internet, it is our expectationsJust another place with its intricaciesEarly research organizational/informational - social was mostly anecdotal accounts of mysterious things that happened in cyberspace
  • 3 grand dichotomies that dominate public discourse on social character of online media. Popular press, NOT academia Social behaviors they invite, sense of self sustained2nd dichotomy revolves around whether these media are inherently more or less social - What types of social behaviors are prevalent? What shape does sociality take? Do they support social behaviors differently, and how?These technologies sustain more or less social places - Online spaces separate from offline spaces - how does the architecture of online spaces inform social behaviors
  • Typica u&g, outcome variableAsked questions about how people use facebookAsked questions about personality factors and demographicsAnd about habits – mobility, life satisfaction, economic securityRelaxing entertainment and habitual passtime – new kind of sociability, in the past….activity, extroversion, talkinghighest correlations noted between companionship and escapism (r = .45), companionship and relaxing entertainment (r = .40), escapism and habitual pass time (r = .43), and escapism and relaxing entertainment (r = .44), p < .001. Challenges understanding of activity and involvement, not that those have been that solid to begin withThose social use it to sustain strong ties with familyThose mobile use it to sustain weak ties – remotePeople do not distinguish between reasons why, use it fulfill a number of needs, some information, some social, some that used to be met by other media (I will hear of late breaking news via facebook or tweeter, before I hear from anywhere else)Sociability exercised from comfort of ones own couchNot fixed
  • Culture of posing for the camera inhome mode, home made photos, enables an analysis of the semiology of photos
  • A semiotic and discourse analysis of college student photo albums and the associated comments reveals that photography is integral to student identity formation. Photographs are used to demonstrate the existence of friendship groups and their cohesiveness and independence from family. Further, photographs and the camera are a almost required element of college life. Events and relationships are made real through the involvement of a camera. The vast majority of the images demonstrate a clear awareness of the camera by being posed, in addition the demonstrate behavior produced specifically for the camera. Comments reinforce this relationship. The photographs are used to spark conversation for those present at the making of thew photographs and for those who missed out. Contextual elements, through backgrounds, are de-emphasized, suggesting the the primacy of the human relationships and the existing knowledge in the head of viewers required for decoding the images. Facebook images are clearly meant for a closed group, reinforcing membership and cohesiveness. One must be a member to understand the full-meaning and by recognizing the meaning one gains a greater sense of membership.  Facebook photo albums ≠ all photos. Student use Facebook to play out college lives to/for each otherSpeaking to each other visually, publicallyThe outfits /locations change, the poses/people don’t Meaning exists in viewers’ mindsPrimacy of relationships“Proven” by quantity & nature of picsEvents important only because of experiences w/ friendsSuspended sociality
  • Facebook: carefully crafted statements, that mean different things to different people, but you communicate your social status by friend selection, and attitude toward the mediumEasy to pick out celebrities, arrivistas, etcLinked in: symbolizes professional code of ethic, and a western, rather US based dogma of professionalismSmallworld:act of joining is a status statement in and of itselfTight and loose structures --- Goffman
  • Expression and connection - identity and community once focal points of inquiry, problematic, frequently imposed with western biases of how they are practiced, no longer as relevant, all studies show that it is by expression and connection – Identity is performative – not a new idea, when has identity NOT been performative - augmented though, with these technologies, people are drawn to these technologies because of the ‘theater’ associated with it, or microcelebrit potential – that is what the narcissistic results point toward, not that we are more narcissistic, but we look for (more) theater in our livesSociability to the network and via the network – structured around social performances that must make sense to several audiences without compromising our sense of who we arePrivacy at the expense of sociality – always been the case, but now even more so - lose ownership of that social conversation, lose autonomy to determine balance between privacy and socialitySense of self reflexive – again not new, but we are seeing all the attributes of Western modernity especially pronounced – understandable, as these are platforms that shape and are shaped by our communicative routines.This means that we change edit adjust our behaviors in response to situations – not new, but available through a different platform. The challenge for us as researchers is to study these with theories and methods that apply – a remediation of theory

Transcript

  • 1. A Networked SelfSociality, Publicity and Privacyon Social Network Sites
    Zizi Papacharissi, PhD
    Professor and Head, Communication
    University of Illinois-Chicago
  • 2. . . . The internet as social space
    The ultimate social impact of cyberspace will not flow from its exotic capabilities, but rather from the fact that people are putting it to ordinary, even mundane, social uses.
    Parks and Floyd, 1996, Making Friends in Cyberspace
  • 3. The premise
    More or less social people?
    A networked self
    More or less social media?
    All media are social
    More or less social places?
    Social affordances of online spaces
  • 4. Research Findings
    3 studies
    Facebook use and social capital (Papacharissi & Mendelson, 2011, Media Perspectives for 21st Century, Papathanassopoulos-Ed.)
    Look at us study – Visual Rhetoric of Facebook photo galleries (Mendelson & Papacharissi, 2010, Networked Self, Papacharissi- Ed.)
    Architecture of online places and affordances of online social networks (Papacharissi, 2009, New Media & Society)
  • 5. Study 1:Uses of Facebook and Social Capital
    A different kind of sociability
    The social couch potato
    Active? No. Passive? No.
    Flexibility, mobility, and convergence of social behaviors (social multitasking)
    Public Privacy of social ties
    Recognition of privacy risk; inability to react
    Reflexive understanding of privacy
  • 6. Study 2 - Look at Us: Visual Rhetoric of Facebook photo galleries
    Elements examined (Chalfen – kodak culture)
    Participants/Topics/Setting/Form/Code (aesthetics)
    Participants/Topics/Setting
    Friends, physically close, mostly same sex groups, even at parties, more women
    Popular events: Parties. Trips w/ Friends. Dances and proms. School year holidays. Sporting events. Graduation (culture of documented/able festivity)
    Mundane – hanging out
    Self portraits, numerous versions of (exhibitionism, overt narcissism, celebrity culture)
  • 7. Results – Behavior
    Overt and exhibitionist articulations of play and affection
    Awareness of, interaction w/ camera
    Smiling
    Play: extreme expressiveness; broad gestures, open-mouths, tongue out; overt drinking
    Embarrassing shots remain up
    Physical contact: hugging, arm-in-arm, heads together, cheek kissing
  • 8. Results – Aesthetics
    Focus on the self, self @ center (narcissism)
    Centered, straight on
    Medium to close distance, limited background
    Self-shot
    Posed
    Bad composition ok
  • 9. What’s not there?
    Family (Parents)
    Small children
    Landscapes
    Animals
    Older People
    Sites/travel (w/out friends)
    Overt sexual behavior
  • 10. Results – Comments
    Reinforce closeness & in-group membership
    Nicknames, inside jokes, statements of affection, compliments, changing looks
    References to what happened:
    “OMG THIS IS SO SWEET! i remember this! We were interviewedddddd!”
    References to longing
    “aww I miss this” or “I miss you guys”
    References to group inclusion
    “can someone please explain why no one tagged me in this!!!!”
    “….it still means ur a.. needs to get the hellzz down there woman”
    Comments tied to pictures & those tags, not to individuals
  • 11. Conclusions
    Visual self-presentation
    Photography integral to identity formation
    Demonstration of group cohesiveness and independence from family
    Events and relationships made real through use of camera
    Majority of images demonstrate
    Awareness of camera
    Behaviors produced specifically for the camera
    Photos used as conversational pieces, contextual elements of photos de-emphasized
    Images directed for closed group, reinforce group membership and cohesion
  • 12. Study 3: Architecture of SNSs
    The architecture of online networks
    Balance of public and private
    Self-presentation in spaces publicly private and privately public
    Intricate performances of taste and class
    Tight and loose structures
  • 13. A Networked Self
    Expression and Connection
    Identity is performance
    Sociability is networked
    Privacy/Sociality
    Sense of self is reflexive/liquid
    redactional acumen
    Challenge for social science researchers is the remediation of theory
  • 14. Thank you!
    zizi@uic.edu
    Twitter: zizip
    www.uic.edu/~zizi