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Profiles, identities, data: making abundant and anchored selves in a platform society

Szulc, Lukasz (2018) Profiles, identities, data: making abundant and anchored selves in a platform society. Communication Theory. ISSN 1050-3293

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Identification Number: 10.1093/ct/qty031


The practice of profile making has become ubiquitous in digital culture. Internet users are regularly invited, usually required, to create a profile for a plethora of digital media, including mega social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Understanding profiles as a set of identity performances, I argue that the platforms employ profiles to enable and incentivize particular ways and foreclose other ways of self-performance. Drawing on research into digital media and identities, combined with mediatization theories, I show how the platforms (1) embrace datafication logic (gathering as much data as possible and pinpointing the data to a particular unit), (2) translate the logic into design and governance of profiles (update stream and profile core), and (3) coax—at times coerce—their users into making of abundant but anchored selves, that is, performing identities which are capacious, complex, and volatile but singular and coherent at the same time.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © International Communication Association
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2018 15:57
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2024 18:12

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