Accepted paper:

Self-museification practices - photo sharing in youth cultures on social media


Adrian Stoicescu (University of Bucharest)

Paper short abstract:

Based on ethnographic interviews, this paper looks at the practices of capturing, customizing, sharing and storing the self in every day contexts and, additionally, to the reaction of target audiences to such (re)presentations of the self on social networks.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is based on an ongoing research carried out on youth cultures and their practice of capturing, customizing, sharing and storing the every day life experiences on Facebook and Instagram, be those individual or involving a larger group. The main focus of this undertaking is to determine whether and to what extent the shared selves fall under a specific economy of (re)presenting individuality as response to external, context-based, performative scenarios against the backdrop of fitting the mediated social expectations of an imagined audience. Conversely, some other instances display quite the opposite in the sense that the shared self is made of features contrasting the expectations of the group watching such performance. Although the purpose of such approach to museification appears to be quite diverse, the means for creating the shared (re)presentations are interestingly similar and largely correspond to a 'way of worldmaking' (Goodman, 1978) using images instead of words. The struggle to combine 'versions' of with 'visions' on the self transform the self-representation into a coherent process of both making and 'refurbishing' to an ideal self-centred or group-triggered image. Finally, the shared selves are further subject to a selection of audiences, in the sense that the not all instances are shared similarly on both social media and certain images are shared among different audience. All the above observations are stemming from both traditional, face-to-face and mediated ethnographic interviews and observation of network behaviour of sharing and liking.

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