Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1884356
 


 



'I’m a Lot More Interesting than a Friendster Profile': Identity Presentation, Authenticity and Power in Social Networking Services


Alice E. Marwick


Fordham University, Communication and Media Studies; McGannon Center

October 1, 2005

Association of Internet Researchers 6.0, 2005

Abstract:     
The rise in popularity of social networking services (SNS) in the last few years is not unproblematic. The structure and underlying philosophy of social networking services presents two problems regarding user self-presentation of identity. First, the fixity of profiles creates conflict in user self-presentation strategies. SNS privilege a single identity presentation as both “authentic” and “real”, which diminishes user agency. I present a typology of user presentation strategies on Friendster, Orkut, and MySpace that discusses how users navigate this fixity in a variety of ways, and how successful the application architecture is in encouraging a particular type of presentation. Second, I draw from social networking theory to discuss how the presentation of social networks is decontextualized both in terms of relational ties and larger social structures. The social and cultural power inherently embedded in networks is made invisible, replaced with both structural regulation and power (by the application) and political and cultural assumptions in how identity is presented. Additionally, the structure of both application and profiles encourages framing oneself as a consumer and commodifying complicated relationships as social capital.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: social network sites, social networking sites, Friendster, Orkut, MySpace, self-presentation, social media

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Date posted: July 17, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Marwick, Alice E., 'I’m a Lot More Interesting than a Friendster Profile': Identity Presentation, Authenticity and Power in Social Networking Services (October 1, 2005). Association of Internet Researchers 6.0, 2005. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1884356

Contact Information

Alice E. Marwick (Contact Author)
Fordham University, Communication and Media Studies ( email )
113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023
United States
McGannon Center ( email )
441 East Fordham Road
Dept of Comm & Media Studies
Bronx, NY 10458
United States
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