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AOIR 2017
Tartu, 19th October, 2017
Selfies and cultural events: mixed methodologies for the
study of selfies in context
Gemma San Cornelio,
Antoni Roig,
Elisenda Ardèvol
Mediaccions Research Group
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya
www.selfiestories.net
Context of the research
● Focus on personal narratives generated by users in social
networks.
● Selfie as object of study: current example of the modes of
representation of self?
● Mixed methods: quantitative analysis and qualitative
analysis with a two-folded aim:
1) to foster the debate on the possibilities and limitations
of “Data Analytics” in social research
2) to expand qualitative research on this issue, providing
a framework of analysis from Big Data.
"Selfiestories and personal data" - Project funded by the BBVA - 12/2014- 06/2017
Some theoretical references
● Selfie as ‘performed’ in different social contexts as part of a personal or collective narrative
(Vivien and Burgess, 2013).
● Selfie in a broader spectrum of images and narrative threads that emerge within and between
images conforming larger narrative streams or feeds (Fallon, 2014).
● Selfie understood as a cultural form beyond the ‘selfie tag’ . Conversational image (Gunthert,
2014, 2015). Alternative genealogy, along with chats and other ways of technology-mediated
interaction (Gómez and Thornham, 2015)
● Selfie as ‘small stories’. Is shared as a representation and responded as a story” (Georgakopolou,
2016, p.315).
● ‘Big data needs thick data (Wang, 2013)
Selfies as personal narratives
● A human is “essentially a story-telling animal” (MacIntyre 1984:216), and
storytelling “may be the way through which human beings make sense of their
own lives and the lives of others” (McAdams 1995:207, emphasis in original).
in Loseke, 2007
● Narratives create identity at all levels of human social life. At the macro-level,
there are stories producing cultural identities. At the meso-level, the policymaking
process produces narratives of institutional identities, Finally, at the micro-level,
there are stories producing personal identities, the self-understandings of unique,
embodied selves about their selves. These narratives “serve as vehicles for
rendering ourselves intelligible” (K. Gergen 1994:186)
● Personal narratives, assume what is called 'formulas', involving narrative models
that are repeated because give meaning to a particular situation.
● Events: Primavera Sound, BCN Games World
● Challenges related to life experiences: 2femmesen2cv,
reunciamosyviajamos
● Emerging Sex/Gender categories
● Campaigns: vibramexico
● Everyday stories: saturday night, halloweenselfie
● Purposeful stories: narratives of maternity
We study both users and tags
Case studies
Mixed Method:
1) Data scraper (instagram API) during 24 h
(01/06/16) monitoring the tag: #primaverasound2016
Sample: 1.760 entries
2) Ethnographic fieldwork (7 h) (01/06/16)
12 interviews (30 people involved, age range: 20-40)
Participant observation
Primavera sound case
Primavera sound case
Types of images
● Selfie: 8,2 + selfiegrupo: 7,2, facilities: 47,8 %,
portrait: 19,6, merchansiding: 4,14, other: 19,5,
error: 2,26
● Selfie is not the predominant image, the tag
selfie is not used
Hashtag analysis
● Most hashtags are related to the Festival
brand
Ethnographic work:
● Our participants confirm less use of the selfie
tag
● Distinction between the ‘legitimized selfie’ and
the ‘posing selfie’
● Greater presence of the collective selfie
Primavera sound case
Streams of pictures uploading
There are peaks in picture
uploading but many users
continue uploading some days
after the event (meaningful
experience)
Capture from: 20:50 -20:53
Primavera sound case
Same methodology as PS
1) Data scraper (instagram API) during 24 h
(07/10/16) monitoring the tag: #bcngamesworld
Sample: 719 entries
2) Ethnographic fieldwork (4 h) (07/10/16)
3 interviews (10 people involved, age range: 20-35)
Participant observation
BCN Games World case
El caso de BCN Games World
Types of images
● Selfie (individual and collective) 17%, facilities:
22,9 %, portrait: 33%, marketing: 12,8%,
gadgets: 7% other: 7%
● Selfie in similar proportion (slightly higher);
preponderance of the portrait, which added to
the selfie category exceeds the 50% of human
images.
● Lots of selfies taken with a selfie stick.
El caso de BCN Games World
Tag analysis:
● Like in the previous case, tags related to the
event and to the city of Barcelona are
predominant.
Ethnographic fieldwork:
● Participants were reluctant to talk about social
media
● Emerging moral panics and common places
● Professional use of networks.
Celebrities, authenticity and the
feminized body
● Not so many selfies as we expected (14-18%) in a comparative of case studies
(significant by participants). Portraying others is much more predominant. Related to
gamers identity.
● Decreasing the use of the selfie tag. It is considered unnecessary and with negative
connotations. That reinforces our choice to look at specific tags rather than ‘selfie’, that
allows to contextualize them.
● Methodologically: connecting time, context and narrative
● Different temporalities: diachronic and nonlinear publication. Linear in PS simultaneous in
BCNgames.
● How the selfie stresses some moments of an event. Eg. In the front entrance of the
festival.
● We produce data and fieldwork, that is inside the event we are studying.
Findings and contributions
Celebrities, authenticity and the
feminized body
Thanks!
gsan_cornelio@uoc.edu
aroigt@uoc.edu
eardevol@uoc.edu
Mediaccions Research Group, UOC
www.selfiestories.net
Research team:
Gemma San Cornelio
Elisenda Ardèvol
Antoni Roig Telo
Pau Alsina
Begonya Enguix
Irma Vilà Òdena
Erick Gonzalo Gomez Narvaez
Maite Garcia
(Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
Edgar Gómez Cruz
(Leeds University/ RMIT)
Matteo Ciastellardi,
Marco Quaggiotto
(Universita Politecnico de Milano)

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Selfies and cultural events. Tartu aoir 2017

  • 1. AOIR 2017 Tartu, 19th October, 2017 Selfies and cultural events: mixed methodologies for the study of selfies in context Gemma San Cornelio, Antoni Roig, Elisenda Ardèvol Mediaccions Research Group Universitat Oberta de Catalunya www.selfiestories.net
  • 2. Context of the research ● Focus on personal narratives generated by users in social networks. ● Selfie as object of study: current example of the modes of representation of self? ● Mixed methods: quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis with a two-folded aim: 1) to foster the debate on the possibilities and limitations of “Data Analytics” in social research 2) to expand qualitative research on this issue, providing a framework of analysis from Big Data. "Selfiestories and personal data" - Project funded by the BBVA - 12/2014- 06/2017
  • 3. Some theoretical references ● Selfie as ‘performed’ in different social contexts as part of a personal or collective narrative (Vivien and Burgess, 2013). ● Selfie in a broader spectrum of images and narrative threads that emerge within and between images conforming larger narrative streams or feeds (Fallon, 2014). ● Selfie understood as a cultural form beyond the ‘selfie tag’ . Conversational image (Gunthert, 2014, 2015). Alternative genealogy, along with chats and other ways of technology-mediated interaction (Gómez and Thornham, 2015) ● Selfie as ‘small stories’. Is shared as a representation and responded as a story” (Georgakopolou, 2016, p.315). ● ‘Big data needs thick data (Wang, 2013)
  • 4. Selfies as personal narratives ● A human is “essentially a story-telling animal” (MacIntyre 1984:216), and storytelling “may be the way through which human beings make sense of their own lives and the lives of others” (McAdams 1995:207, emphasis in original). in Loseke, 2007 ● Narratives create identity at all levels of human social life. At the macro-level, there are stories producing cultural identities. At the meso-level, the policymaking process produces narratives of institutional identities, Finally, at the micro-level, there are stories producing personal identities, the self-understandings of unique, embodied selves about their selves. These narratives “serve as vehicles for rendering ourselves intelligible” (K. Gergen 1994:186) ● Personal narratives, assume what is called 'formulas', involving narrative models that are repeated because give meaning to a particular situation.
  • 5. ● Events: Primavera Sound, BCN Games World ● Challenges related to life experiences: 2femmesen2cv, reunciamosyviajamos ● Emerging Sex/Gender categories ● Campaigns: vibramexico ● Everyday stories: saturday night, halloweenselfie ● Purposeful stories: narratives of maternity We study both users and tags Case studies
  • 6. Mixed Method: 1) Data scraper (instagram API) during 24 h (01/06/16) monitoring the tag: #primaverasound2016 Sample: 1.760 entries 2) Ethnographic fieldwork (7 h) (01/06/16) 12 interviews (30 people involved, age range: 20-40) Participant observation Primavera sound case
  • 7. Primavera sound case Types of images ● Selfie: 8,2 + selfiegrupo: 7,2, facilities: 47,8 %, portrait: 19,6, merchansiding: 4,14, other: 19,5, error: 2,26 ● Selfie is not the predominant image, the tag selfie is not used
  • 8. Hashtag analysis ● Most hashtags are related to the Festival brand Ethnographic work: ● Our participants confirm less use of the selfie tag ● Distinction between the ‘legitimized selfie’ and the ‘posing selfie’ ● Greater presence of the collective selfie Primavera sound case
  • 9. Streams of pictures uploading There are peaks in picture uploading but many users continue uploading some days after the event (meaningful experience) Capture from: 20:50 -20:53 Primavera sound case
  • 10. Same methodology as PS 1) Data scraper (instagram API) during 24 h (07/10/16) monitoring the tag: #bcngamesworld Sample: 719 entries 2) Ethnographic fieldwork (4 h) (07/10/16) 3 interviews (10 people involved, age range: 20-35) Participant observation BCN Games World case
  • 11. El caso de BCN Games World Types of images ● Selfie (individual and collective) 17%, facilities: 22,9 %, portrait: 33%, marketing: 12,8%, gadgets: 7% other: 7% ● Selfie in similar proportion (slightly higher); preponderance of the portrait, which added to the selfie category exceeds the 50% of human images. ● Lots of selfies taken with a selfie stick.
  • 12. El caso de BCN Games World Tag analysis: ● Like in the previous case, tags related to the event and to the city of Barcelona are predominant. Ethnographic fieldwork: ● Participants were reluctant to talk about social media ● Emerging moral panics and common places ● Professional use of networks.
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  • 16. Celebrities, authenticity and the feminized body ● Not so many selfies as we expected (14-18%) in a comparative of case studies (significant by participants). Portraying others is much more predominant. Related to gamers identity. ● Decreasing the use of the selfie tag. It is considered unnecessary and with negative connotations. That reinforces our choice to look at specific tags rather than ‘selfie’, that allows to contextualize them. ● Methodologically: connecting time, context and narrative ● Different temporalities: diachronic and nonlinear publication. Linear in PS simultaneous in BCNgames. ● How the selfie stresses some moments of an event. Eg. In the front entrance of the festival. ● We produce data and fieldwork, that is inside the event we are studying. Findings and contributions
  • 17. Celebrities, authenticity and the feminized body Thanks! gsan_cornelio@uoc.edu aroigt@uoc.edu eardevol@uoc.edu Mediaccions Research Group, UOC www.selfiestories.net Research team: Gemma San Cornelio Elisenda Ardèvol Antoni Roig Telo Pau Alsina Begonya Enguix Irma Vilà Òdena Erick Gonzalo Gomez Narvaez Maite Garcia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya) Edgar Gómez Cruz (Leeds University/ RMIT) Matteo Ciastellardi, Marco Quaggiotto (Universita Politecnico de Milano)