Accepted Paper:

Protest with selfies as articulation of the common?  
Klaus Schönberger (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt)Ute Holfelder (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt)

Paper short abstract:

Based on the empirical observation that selfies cannot be sufficiently understood in the theoretical framework of the digital self, it is argued that protest selfies refer to a non-narcissistic dimension that helps constitute a social coexistence and something shared and common.

Paper long abstract:

The focus on an alleged narcissism overlooks the diversity of socio-cultural practices associated with selfies. It is assumed that selfies primarily act as a performance tool for social relationships (partnership, friendship, family). (Schönberger 2017; Holfelder/Schönberger 2018). Because selfies are ubiquitous, so the thesis, they not only have a function for the "self", but also for social "togetherness" and for what is shared. Selfies are also used as a political tool. In this paper, selfies are analyzed as a recombinant practice of political protest. Can the selfie be seen as an extension of the possibility of political communication? While a "like" or an online petition has little binding force, selfies with names and faces represent a commitment.

If we understand selfies in the context of a process of social aestheticization (Holfelder/Schönberger 2017), then another alleged tendency, namely the aestheticization of politics, can be interpreted differently.

Holfelder/Schönberger (2017), Einführung - Bewegtfilmpraktiken und Alltagskultur(en). In: Dies. (eds.), Bewegtbilder und Alltagskultur(en). Von Super 8 über Video zum Handyfilm. Praktiken von Amateuren im Prozess der gesellschaftlichen Ästhetisierung. Köln, 9-15.

Holfelder/Schönberger (2018), "Jetzt schau doch nicht so schlecht gelaunt!". Das Urlaubsselfie. In: Verein Industriekultur und Alltagsgeschichte, Werner Koroschitz (eds.), Zimmer frei. Die Entwicklung der "Fremdenpflege" in Kärnten. Klagenfurt/Celovec, 209-214.

Schönberger (2017), "But first, LET ME TAKE A SELFIE" oder eine neue Art sich selbst zu betrachten und sich mit anderen zu unterhalten? In: Braun etal. (eds.), Kulturen der Sinne. Zugänge zur Sensualität der sozialen Welt. Münster, 37-53.

Panel Digi02
Changing features? Performing the self in digital culture [SIEF WG Digital Ethnology and Folklore] [P+R]