Constructing identity on Facebook : report on a pilot study

Bolander, Brook and Locher, Miriam A.. (2010) Constructing identity on Facebook : report on a pilot study. In: Performing the self. Tübingen, pp. 165-185.

PDF - Published Version

Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5841162

Downloads: Statistics Overview


In this paper we examine the construction of identity on the Social Network Site (SNS) Facebook. We thereby focus on the language use in personal profiles and Status Updates (SUs) of ten individuals from Switzerland. This paper thus presents the results of a pilot study, which is part of a larger project on language and identity in Facebook. Drawing on previous work on SNSs by Zhao et al. and Nastri et al., this paper highlights that Facebookers use a variety of strategies to construct their identities, i.e., visual, enumerative, narrative (cf. Zhao et al.) and self-labelling practices, as well as what we term ‘Creative language usage’. Results show that identity construction on Facebook tends to be mediated more extensively via implicit identity claims, which corroborates the results of Zhao et al., than explicit ones. We hypothesize that this may be related to the fact that individuals in Facebook tend to have “anchored relationships” (cf. Zhao et al.), which means their Facebook relationships are grounded in offline life. The paper also points to particular factors relating to the medium and the social context of interaction which appear to influence language use in this SNS, and which will need to be studied in further depth as the project proceeds.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > English Linguistics (Locher)
UniBasel Contributors:Locher, Miriam A. and Bolander, Brook
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Publisher:Narr Verlag
Series Name:Spell
Issue Number:24
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
Related URLs:
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:03 Jan 2018 10:27
Deposited On:08 Jun 2012 06:32

Repository Staff Only: item control page