The self online 2013


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It's #theselfonline week this week!
Lecture for Level 4 students and also visiting students from local colleges - Xaverian College and Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College

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  • Part 1 – theoretical understanding of identity and how the digital age is potentially changing what it means to be a personPart 2 – your self online – how can you make the most of social media and networking for a professional identity?Break in the middle
  • With regards to who we are, ‘identity’ and ‘self’ appear to be the preferred terms in use within contemporary social science (Adams, 2007). The two concepts are also used interchangeably (e.g. Dixon & Durrheim, 2000), together as self-identity (e.g. Giddens, 1991) and relatedly where ‘identity’ is described as “a project of the self” (Benwell & Stokoe, 2006, p. 18). However, ‘self’ and ‘identity’ have been differentiated where the latter has been considered as a tool to present ourselves to others (Owens, 2006).
  • Traditionally, psychology has identified and understood the self as an important part of our experience and understanding of the world. However ‘the self’ as we know it has not always held the same meanings as it does now in the 21st century. ‘Identity’ has become a focus for social psychological research in relation to the self, but Taylor (1989) argued that the idea of an identity was unthinkable in the 16th century. We just didn’t think of ourselves in that way as having an individual, unique ‘identity’ (in non-western cultures, people may also not think of themselves in this way too). Of course, people did identify themselves in one way shape or form (e.g. as part of a tribe or clan, religion) but not in the ways that people understand self and identity today. What identity and the self mean to us and for us is culturally and historically specific (Burr, 2003 – social constructionism) – what it means depends on the time and place.
  • The Self as inside you. The Self is contained within your body, and also the way you look to others e.g. tattoo above is projecting that person’s self/identity. This is opposed to “space” which is located outside of the body. When people say they understand the self like this they are reproducing the Cartesian conception where “self” is seen as thinking matter, and space is considered as an essential part of the external world. Space is therefore outside of the self. For more information see Hermans (2004) Introduction: The Dialogical Self in a Global and Digital Age
  • Many theorists have considered language as central to ‘self’ and ‘identity’ (e.g. Mead, 1934; Goffman, 1963; Bakhtin, 1986, Hermans, 2001; 2004). A dialogical understanding of ‘identity’ takes the position that “language lives” (Bahktin, 1984, p. 183) and therefore who we are can be understood within “everyday discursive phenomena” (Shotter & Billig, 1998, p. 14). ‘Identity’ is considered as something which requires “ongoing negotiations within a complex web of relationships and practices” (Gough & McFadden, 2001, p. 89). Burr (2003) argued that ‘identity’ is an implicitly social concept, concerned more with a person’s purpose or aim, and thus, often found within social constructionist research concerned with how people make sense of themselves and their social worlds. Understanding the person as dialogical emphasises the person’s “engagement in their own struggles of becoming; its focus is stories of struggle, not static themes or lists of characteristics that fix participants in identities that fit typologies” (Frank, 2005, p. 969). People can be considered “needy, as they depend on others for values or embodied ideas to give a clear sense of who they are” (Sullivan, 2012, p. 5). Language as action orientated – what is the purpose of what we say? Is it to persuade, to justify, to blame, to position?
  • Discussion points: Why does it matter if he says Salford or Manchester? Why would he change to the other? How does his ‘identity’ relate to ‘place’?Growth of social media means that others are discussing this person online – what are they saying? Why are they saying it? Whatever they say they can be considered as constructing their identities in a dialogical sense too.
  • Discursive psychologists and those that look at language as action-orientated see the self and identity as being out there in space too. Not just within the body. See people as constructing themselves in their everyday conversations with others. With the growth of digital technologies and with millions of people going online and creating profiles on facebook, twitter, linkedin, putting content on youtube, they are now constructing themselves in “space” much more than they would or could have in previous times gone by (traditional societies). Since the birth of social networking sites, do you think the self has become more complex? Given that we are constructing ourselves online with pictures/status updates/conversations/interactions? One aspect of this new digital world we are inhabiting is that it has changed and is changing rapidly….next slide.
  • For example, if the concept of identity as we know it today has been evolving post 16th century, then the rise of social networking sites since 1997 can be described as a drop in the ocean in human development and in terms of the history of communication. Figure 1 shows that social networking sites have been around for 15 years, and its not really until 2005/2006 that things really started to take off with widespread uptake of these networks. In 2012, estimated 845 million active users on Facebook. Having a facebook profile has become common place – if you don’t have one, you’re in the minority? At a disadvantage? Side issue, but related is how quickly the web has grown. Within 20 years there are over a trillion sites – need information, go straight to Google. How important the web is becoming for knowledge, information, study and so on. Figure 1 from Boyd, D., & Elison, N. (2007) Social Network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship, J of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13(1), p. 210–230
  • So given the relatively short history of the internet and of social networking sites in comparison to how long identity and self as we know it have been evolving, can be argued we are currently in a period of adaptation. Some research into how SNS impact upon identity and self-presentation (how we present ourselves online), and between the on- and the off-line worlds. Yet to be seen what the greatest impact of this move to the self online will be. We are currently in a period of uncertainty about using social networks, blurring the boundaries between the professional and the personal identities we may hold. With anything relatively new, there are potential opportunities and challenges to work through. But are we in a constant period of adaptation?
  • On the one hand, are we talking about just another form of communication – Yes… For example – cave drawings to draw something, writing/storytelling Egyptian hieroglyphs to Facebook timeline of your biography (from birth to death?). Consuming information media through newspapers, moved onto consuming information/news through smart phones, the internet and social media networks.
  • On the other hand no…When before has the self been so out there, outside of the body (internal) and out into space (external)? Also, at the same time, identity has been argued as much more fluid and ever changing, a dynamic proces. Identity as dialogical and multivoiced (Hermans, 2004)However, not necessarily new, as evidence of dialogical selves found in more traditional societies too (pre industrial, modernised, technologised). Some social theorists such as Anthony Giddens (1991) proposed that we have greater agency (control/choice) over how to construct our selves in modern times…next slide.
  • As the world has become more globalised, connected through infrastructure (e.g. internet, energy, water, resources, transport), more mobile (e.g. migration – of the 6.9million people in the world, 214 million were international migrants in 2010: UN, 2011), world is increasingly multi-cultural (e.g. exposed to so many different cultural influences). Giddens (1991) argued that we have more choice about how to construct ourselves. For example, take “place” as part of identity. Giddens (1991) argues that in ‘traditional’ societies, life was more localised and our identities were more connected and even determined by place (location). Today, he argues that the individual needs to decide or choose “What to do? How to act? Who to be?” (p. 70). He also argues that today we are more reflexive, basically that we consider who we are (our self, our identity) a lot more. We think about it lots!
  • Do we have a greater sense of agency in relation to the self in modern times? How has technology played a role in changing our perceptions of self?
  • We might not necessarily have choice, but still want to construct ourselves as choosing, deciding, in control of our own lives.
  • If we have the choice to construct ourselves – can we construct ourselves in any which way we want? (No because bound by structure/society which limits who we can be). Would you chose to construct yourself like this? Or like this? (Students will probably say the second photo, although the point to stress is the intended audience, who are you constructing yourself for???? Friends/family or employers?)
  • Analyse these tweets discursively:What is motivating these people to write this – what is the purpose of their utterance? Who is it for? How does it tap into ideologies around what a student is? What do they want from putting this out there in the virtual space? (answer constructing themselves as ‘disgruntled’ student, audience possibly fellow students, this could even be in real time in the lecture).
  • How do these tweets differ from the last two examples?
  • For more information about this news story, here is an article in the guardian:
  • Tweets that may seem innocent, but result in serious consequences. Period of adaptation – people are using social media and tech but unaware of their responsibilities, how accountable they are for what they say, can not say whatever you want online.
  • University of Salford Student Disciplinary Procedure which includes behaviour on social networking sites to emphasise the importance of using social media responsibly, safely, and respectfully.Be a good digital citizen!
  • Searching potential employees social media profiles increasingly more common. Encourage self-reflection – have you applied for a job recently or a work experience placement? What would they find about you? Could it impact on you getting an interview?
  • Use of social media is a hot topic in clinical psychology field right now as BPS come to grips with rapid changes to professionalism presented by increasing importance of social media. Do clinical psychologists and trainees have a right to use Facebook, Twitter? Also to consider is how SNS impact upon the client-therapist relationship. Debate do not use Social Media at all!! V use social media carefully and respectfully.
  • We follow the BPS ethical guidelines in our research, so in future, we may also follow the DCP guidance on use of social media (would be considered best practice), also importance of digital identity for aspiring clinical psychologists, might as well start following their guidance early if you see your future as a psychologist?However, issues are not specific to clinical psychology alone, relevant to everyone.
  • Constructing yourself professionally online becoming more and more important – get ahead and sort out your social media profile so that when you come to apply for work experience places this summer (might be doing this already), your online presence is not only appropriate and spot on but helping you secure that work.
  • Applying for work is changing – most of you will head to Google to search for jobs, opportunities. Don’t look in the paper anymore. Do you think employers do the same thing? They need to fill a post, lets go online and search for suitable people? Head-hunting! If you have an online profile, more chance of this happening. What is happening is recruitment is changing – CV as dead but not dying, being reborn online as a linked in account (talk about later).
  • The Self as dynamic and fluid – you are innovating yourself at the moment with your new role as psychology undergraduate/aspiring clinical psychologist/Take this opportunity – make it count and construct a professional identity online to get on in Psychology! Never too early to start thinking about your career, never too early to start working out which direction you are going in and using online networks to help you along.
  • Twitter/LinkedIn/GooglePlus – professional Facebook – where you’ve often started, personal/familyBlogging (not covering much today but blogging about your experiences aims ambitions can help you develop writing skills, exposure to conversation/interaction with others, make sense of what you are learning, self-reflect). All sorts of new media that you can be creative with
  • Linkedin – Heard of it? Yes/No? First social network to go public and float on the stock market. 150 million plus (less than Facebook but worth more because this is business!) Increasingly important to day-to-day business workings.
  • Go onto my linkedin profile and have a look – what does this say about me? How might it benefit me? How could I improve my profile? Students are increasingly using this network to find work experience and opportunities, develop portfolio, build a valuable network – amazed at who you might find.
  • How you could use network?Groups – Psychology students network! Search for jobs - volunteer
  • Already using Facebook to network which is great (providing you remember what your responsibilities are about what can be said online, and that administrators of groups are aware of their responsibilities too in terms of moderation). Need to go beyond strong ties, need some weak ties too! Twitter and LinkedIn – whole new world of opportunity!!!!
  • Public and private life used to be more separate. Online world provides opportunity for private and professional selves to merge. Example Facebook friends from school, new ones from university, different aspects of who you are all coming together in one space online. Papacharisssi suggests that online social networks are where we go now to construct and work out our identities. If you Facebook profile was hacked or “fraped” how would you feel? If Facebook shut down tomorrow how would you feel? Annoyed at lost pictures, not got people’s telephone numbers? We present our self to the world online (not everyone but the majority) – what does the future hold? E.g. “digital natives” children who are not even born yet have a digital presence (e.g. scan pictures uploaded to Facebook). Motivations for constructing identity and self online is networks – we are nothing alone! Goffman (1959) talks about the performing self – we have different roles for different imagined audiences (like acting in a play or film). E.g. walk onto campus take up the role of student. Performing for some audience all the time. Social networking sites have blurred things again as our networks continue to grow with multiple audiences as we move through life and experience different things (e.g. go on a gap year, gain gap year friends, add these to your network of friends) (e.g. get a graduate job, add friends to school friends) Talked about friends a lot up to now, as this is often where people start on their social networking journeys – on facebook connecting to people that they know. Network is more important than that – the importance of having a diverse network….
  • If Laura knows Kim and Jade, then Kim and Jade are likely to know each other too (strong ties)If Laura needs a job, she can ask Kim and JadeGreater chance Laura will get new information from weak tiesAndy, a weak tie, knows lots of information Laura doesn’t knowThe greater social distance between Laura and Andy, the more new information is available to LauraLaura is more likely to get a new job via Andy Weak ties work as bridges between social groups People who are bridges may appear socially isolated (floaters?)Yet having weak ties with two or more groups = very early access to new informationSo weak ties are good. Interesting as at university students tend to form small groups of close friends (strong ties) and stick with who they know. Everybody on this course may not have some new information to offer you now, but in the future when they head out into the world of work, who knows how they might be able to help you, act as bridges??? Get connected with each other, but also with others that can help you! Social media offers plentiful opportunity to connect with others that you might be able to work with share information with in the future.
  • Everyone needs a network – need people to collaborate, to achieve, to do things with, to experience new things etc We are social animals. Getting on in career often about not what you know, but WHO! Who you know so important. You need a network of people that can help you get on in Psychology. Think of examples of how you’ve got a job – anyone recommended you?
  • Direct access to CEO/recruitment etc – find out about them before you ring them. Take the short cut linkedin offers!
  • Answer C) 9991 connections!
  • Step by step guide book for those new to twitter.
  • This is Scott Robertson’s blog – he is a level 5 Psychology student @totheendandback
  • Any students can send me their profile for the blog – ANY!!!!! Send them to me If you want to write something for the blog, you can & I will help you and give feedback!
  • The self online 2013

    1. 1. Flickr: yhancik
    2. 2. OverviewIdentity in thedigital agePart 1YourselfonlinePart 2
    3. 3. SelfPersonality Identity“Regardless of the theoretical orientation, the self isconsidered nowadays as multiple, varied,changeable, sometimes as chameleon that changesalong with the context”(Salgado & Hermans, 2009, p. 3)
    4. 4. The idea ofan identity wasunthinkable in the16th century(Taylor, 1989),_by_Leonardo_da_Vinci,_from_C2RMF_retouched.jpg4
    5. 5. Where is The Self?“When you ask people to localize their self, theywill point to their body and tell you that it issomewhere inside.” (Hermans, 2004, p. 298)Image Creative Commons Licence hanspetermeyer.ca5
    6. 6. Hi, I’m fromManchester I’m fromManchestertooI’m fromSalfordIdentity as Dialogical
    7. 7. What ‘identity work’ is going on here?Link:
    8. 8. The Self in the Digital Age8
    9. 9. In 1991, there wasonly one web page.Today, there are over atrillion(Barabási, 2011).9TheVery ShortHistory of SocialNetworking Sites
    10. 10. We are in a period of adaptationChallengesOpportunitiesconstant<10
    11. 11. Images Creative Commons Licence Peter80 Podknox Roebot zoetnet jennacondie11Just another form of communication?Yes…
    12. 12. Constructing ourselves out there in spaceDialogicalMultivoicedFluidAgency& No…12
    13. 13. Postmodern identitiesGlobalisationConnectedMobilityMigrationMulticulturalImage Creative Commons Licence DonkeyHoteyWe have more choice, we are more reflexive(Giddens, 1991) 13
    14. 14. emilychangnikkilemieux WHardcastleRob HuttonkimncrisDieselDemonslgckgcDaniele ZeddasunshinecityYashna MThe Selfie
    15. 15. YlvaS deflam carinemilyTechnology changing behaviour
    16. 16. “The choosing, deciding, shapinghuman being who aspires to bethe author of his or her own life,the creator of an individualidentity” as “the centralcharacter of our time”(Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 2001, p 22–23)ImageCreativeCommonsLicenceAhmadHammoud16Constructing identities
    17. 17. Images Creative Commons Licence JamieHogue CECAR - Climate and Ecosystems Change Adaptation RThis?Or This?17The person as a ‘reflective agent’
    18. 18. This?18
    19. 19. Or this?19
    20. 20. • Paris Brown YPCCWhat you say matters?Link:
    21. 21. Tweet: “Free this week, for quick gossip/prepbefore I go and destroy America”= Deported from the US when landedTweet: "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. Youvegot a week and a bit to get your shit togetherotherwise Im blowing the airport sky high!!”= Arrested, trial, fined £360021Open to (mis)interpretation
    22. 22. UoS Student Disciplinary Procedure2. Misconduct“ii) that it otherwise damages the University or its reputation,whether this takes place on campus or off campus.”“In particular, the following are indicative examples of whatshall constitute misconduct, whether occurring on Universitypremises or elsewhere including in the virtual environmentof social networking or other websites”“iv) violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening, intimidating,defamatory, derogatory, or otherwise inappropriate behaviouror language”Excerpts from Page 2 of Student Disciplinary Procedure , University of Salford 2011/2012
    23. 23. 65% Of employers will look at potentialemployee’s online presence prior tointerviewBailey et al., (2011) would theyinterpret you?How do others in yournetworks interpret you?How are you constructingyourself online?Images Creative Commons Licence Gideon Burton23
    24. 24. McKenzie & Fawns (2011)• Avoid posting information on SNS due to thepotential risk to their perceived professionalism.Coiffait, Bartlett, Houghton & Condie (2013)• Should not be deprived of the benefits offered bysocial media and suggest ways to manage onlinepresence to enjoy the benefits and minimiseissues that may affect professional rolesIn Clinical Psychology Forum – Publication of the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology24Are you an aspiring clinical psychologist?
    25. 25. DCP website: 25DCP Guidance on the Use of Social Mediafor Clinical Psychologists
    26. 26. Use your research skills and research privacysettings of the networks you are on.Keepchecking!26Link: Control of your Digital Identity
    27. 27. Image Creative Commons Licence DonkeyHotey27Part 2: Your Self Online
    28. 28. From paperTo webpageImage Creative Commons Licence bmakrinik28The CV as dying but not dead
    29. 29. • New roles = opportunity to innovate yourself• You recently acquired a new role as a…• Construct your professional online self to:– Create & find opportunities e.g. work experience– Build an invaluable network– Gain confidence and self-reflect– Develop your area of expertise– Demonstrate your understanding of Psychology– Share, collaborate and innovate!29Innovative Self
    30. 30. ???????? ??? 30Your social media “Shop Windows”
    31. 31. The professional network!You’ll probably be on this network inthe future….so why wait?31The Professional Network
    32. 32. 32
    33. 33. 33GroupsSomethingfor thesummer?
    34. 34. NetworkingMany of you are already networkingonline with each otherImportant to expand your networksfor new opportunities34Networking
    35. 35. • Self-identity in public and private life merge online• Online social networks are where we negotiateidentity and self presentation.• Performing self (Goffman, 1959) – who are yourimagined audiences?• Social networking sites as a stage for interaction,linking us with multiple audiences.Link:,%20Community%20and%20Culture%20on%20Social%20Network%20Sites%20%5B2011%5D.pdfImage Creative Commons Licence Eric Fischer35The Networked Self (Papacharissi, 2011)
    36. 36. JadeKimLauraAndy36The strength of weak tiesMark Granovetter (1973)
    37. 37. “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, callit a family: Whatever you call it, whoever youare, you need one.” Jane Howard37It’s not what you know, but who!
    38. 38. Social Media – A way in!“The economy doesnt look so bad if you skip the job ads andspeak directly to the CEO”. Nicole Gravagna, a MolecularBiologist on LinkedInDIRECT!38Opening doors
    39. 39. How many people *potentially* read this tweet?A) 91 B) 991C) 191 D) 9991
    40. 40. RetweetersSuggestersPotentials
    41. 41. Twitter Step by StepLink: 41Twitter Guide
    42. 42. We are all @salfordpsychWe are all @salfordpsych
    43. 43. BloggingTo blog or not to blog? To blog!Link:
    44. 44. SalfordPsych Blog
    45. 45. Flickr: yhancik