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


Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft Research New England; Harvard University - Berkman Center for Internet & Society

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

Accepted Paper Series


Download This Paper

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)
Microsoft Corporation - Microsoft Research New England ( email )
One Memorial Drive, 12th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
Harvard University - Berkman Center for Internet & Society ( email )
Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,278
Downloads: 589
Download Rank: 23,230

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.422 seconds