Presentation of self and the personal interactive homepage: an ethnography of MySpace

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Title: Presentation of self and the personal interactive homepage: an ethnography of MySpace
Author: Davis, Jennifer Lauren
Abstract: Erving Goffman's dramaturgical perspective sees the world as a stage and social actors as the players (1959 ) . Social actors partake in a series of dramatic performances to accomplish a certain stable social self . This idea has been built upon in recent years through the structural symbolic interactionist perspective , particularly with the work of Peter Burke's Identity Control Theory (2004 ) . I hope here to continue to build upon the work of these theorists , as well as engage in a dialogue within the field of computer -mediated -communication (CMC ) . This work is at the nexus of social psychology and CMC studies . Contemporary technology has had great implications for many aspects of the social world and for interaction in particular . Since contemporary technologies impact interaction , and self construction is embedded in the interaction process , then it is important to look to at the theoretical implications of contemporary society's technological advances . I look ethnographically at MySpace , using participant observation and interview , to study how interaction and self presentation take place within the structure of the personal interactive homepage . My sample (N=97 ) is non -random and is drawn from my "Friends" list . I argue that the personal interactive homepage provides a unique forum for interaction . I analyze the structure of the personal interactive homepage , and examine the ways in which users construct an ideal and still authentic self within this structure . Through a synthesis of these analyses , I am able to build upon presentation of self theories , arguing that the dimension of power can (and should ) be included in understanding the presentation of self process . The extent , to which an actor can present an ideal self in light of varying degrees of negotiation , represents the actors" "power to present" .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /85968
Date: 2008-10-10

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Presentation of self and the personal interactive homepage: an ethnography of MySpace. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /85968 .

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