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Image and Self-representation Visual Learning Lab, International Conference December 1, 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "Image and Self-representation Visual Learning Lab, International Conference December 1, 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 Image and Self-representation Visual Learning Lab, International Conference December 1, 2010

2 1. Introduction digital change: involvement of image information (Schlobinski 2009), visuality iconic turn (Gottfried Boehm) visual communication (Nyíri 2003) omnipresence of pictures (Maar 2006) profile pictures on social networking websites photos: viewed by friends and family members + employer survey, 1000 HR managers: 1/3 view their colleagues photos and internet posts self brand (Purkiss–Royston-Lee 2010)

3 2. Overview social networking websites: finding friends, passing the time, playing, interpersonal communication… private home pages: online self-images profile (or: profiled) pictures theoretical framework marketing communications and public relations on image psychology on self-construction empirical research on Facebook

4 3. Image from a PR perspective image concept or opinion; based on impressions, thoughts, emotions, beliefs and perceptions (Magyar 1990) types: product, brand, corporate, personal image corporate identity the way we present ourselves to the public who you are, what you do and how you do it (Wally Olins) causal relation metaphor: corporate identity ~ stamp; image ~ stamp impression self-branding

5 4. Self-representation from a psychological perspective information: socio-economic status, self-image, attitude towards the other, knowledge and reliability (Goffman 1959) the individual is likely to present himself in a light that is favourable to him (Goffman 1959) face-to-face situation vs. social networking websites uploaded pictures, shared pages, videos, group membership, profile page, profile picture

6 5. Social networking sites web 2.0: new structure of communities user: consumer&producer (prosumer), content provider web services (Facebook, MySpace, Picasa, Flickr): picture sharing age group born into the world of the internet 1980s: Generation X 1990s: Generation Y (Net Generation) Generation C: not by age but online behaviour C: content, constant connectivity, collaboration, change, curiosity, co-creation

7 6. The Facebook analysis more than 1500 randomly selected profile pictures sex and age related differences Facebooks child protection rule number of female users > that of the male ones (traditional social roles: maintaining social networks)

8 6.1. Metonymic portraits full body images: rare metonymic portrayals face eye, mouth, hair, hand… back posing: mannered way of self-concealment

9 6.2. Image manipulation and age the younger the person in the picture – the bolder, more elaborate, more manipulated the photo

10 6.2. Image manipulation and age half of the age group between 15 and 18: manipulated or edited picture intentional carelessness: upside down rotated images pictures with a missing head pictures with an overemphasised background

11 6.2. Image manipulation and age 18+ age group: edited or highly elaborate pictures: rarer people above 40: traditional portray photos, neutral background

12 6.3. Exhibitionism exhibitionism, showing private parts of the body more common among women (below 30) erotic and sexually provocative pictures intimate pictures are considered as special (Gabriela David 2009) : share something special, unique, original

13 6.4. Number of people on the pictures process of making photos: group ritual, group cohesion friends (teenagers) partner intimate photos typical posing photos child(ren) (people in their 30s)

14 6.5. Self-image substitutes childhood photos, drawings, pictures of persons other than the user study (Reading 2009) one quarter of the users no profile pictures + 10%: non-identifying self-images

15 6.5. Self-image substitutes Status Message (14 November 2010): From 14 November until 17 November replace your Facebook profile picture with one of your favourite childhood cartoon heroes and get others to do the same! The goal is not to have human faces on Facebook till Wednesday, only the memories of your childhood! :-) It is good to be a child! :D

16 6.6. Staged and action photos stereotypical concept of the profile picture: fewer action photos than staged photos metapictures self portrait photos: web camera, mirror mirrored pictures

17 6.7. The background of a picture glance into the home and intimate rooms (bathroom) the intimate sphere becomes public (Dede 2009: 111) spectacular foreign photo scenes party

18 6.8. Objects status symbols: sunglasses, sports equipment, fish, drink, cigarette Alcohol Concern: drunkenness material for anecdotes; social standing transition from childhood to adulthood (Ling 2009)

19 7. Conclusion real self-image / set of roles / ideal self-image leisure activities, but working (but: exotic professions) clothing: attractive, sexy, elegant extraordinary self self-representation: a form of impression management I am seen, therefore I am (Röttgers 2009) I share, therefore I am. We only see two things in people: what we want to see, and what they want to show us. (Harry Morgan)

20 Thank you for your attention! Be careful when you take photos!

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