Body-Image-Text: Exploring Female Adolescents on Facebook and Concurrent Identity Formation (CIF)

Title: Body-Image-Text: Exploring Female Adolescents on Facebook and Concurrent Identity Formation (CIF)
Authors: Yazdanian, Shenin Nadia
Date: 2015
Abstract: Using a uniquely developed research methodology called ‘feminist virtual ethnography’ this thesis explores female adolescent subculture on the social network site Facebook, looking specifically at a group of four girls who are ‘Facebook friends’ with each other as well as friends at the same high school in a large metropolitan city in south-western Ontario in Canada. The thesis is guided by research questions that focus on how these girls virtually-represent their bodies on Facebook, and develops a theory of concurrent identity formation (CIF) as a way to understand the translatability and conversion between the ‘real’ and the ‘virtual.’ Built as a collaborative inquiry between the researcher and research participants, I invited the girls to analyze screenshots of their own (and each other’s) virtual self-representations during a series of virtual conversations and to express their understandings of femininity and beauty as they problematize their identities on Facebook and in ‘real’ contexts such as at school and at home. Overall, findings reveal an interplay of body, image, and text within the girls’ systems of imagery and language. I suggest that the female adolescent body is virtually self-represented in negotiated as well as discursive ways, and that the girls’ identities are always in flux. While CIF provides a good basis for understanding these girls’ identities as ‘in flux,’ further investigation into virtual representation and CIF is needed to understand how and why adolescents display their bodies and articulate their identities in certain ways. Pedagogical implications are also discussed in my concluding chapter, where I call for a reconceptualization of literacies and methodologies, especially when dealing with girls on/and Facebook.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -