Through the Looking Glass: Exploring Professional Identities on Social Media.

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation externalAcademic

Abstract

The diffusion of Social Network Sites, together with the rise of technology increasing- ly capable of leaving us “permanently connected”, has had a visible impact on the manner in which we establish and maintain our relationships with others. Less visible, but nonetheless true, is the impact that digital technology is having on our ideas of ourselves: in every social media representation, in fact, we are called to share parts of who we are with the world. This presumes a choice of “representative” content, but also a legitimate digital performance of our identities.
Particularly considering professional identities, the use of digital communication tools seems to have altered the ways in which professionals work, and identify themselves as part of the workforce. Thanks to social media and mobile technology, in fact, daily activities that were previously office-bound take place anywhere, at any time. This changes substantially the meaning of work hours and spaces, leading, at the same time, to changes to the ideas of professional and private identities.
This dissertation has the objective of exploring the digital identities of individuals em- ploying social media for both personal and professional communications, focusing in particular on their decisions regarding the boundaries they set between their various online representations (online personae).
This work is divided in three fundamental sections. In the first section, I will review the existing literature to better define the research topics. This includes a focus on the- ories of identity and self-presentation (Chapters 2 and 3), as well as an introduction of the theories and concepts on which the empirical models are based (Chapters 4 and 5). The second section is instead dedicated to the empirical analysis of the data, and to the test of the hypotheses previously introduced (Chapters 6 and 7). In the last section, the results will be compared with the existing literature and interpreted, providing sugges- tions for future research, as well as possible applications for the practice.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationPhD
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2014

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social media
self-presentation
earning a doctorate
social network
communications
communication
performance
literature

Keywords

  • Identity (Psychology)
  • Online identities
  • Online social networks
  • Performance theory
  • Professional identity
  • Social media

Cite this

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title = "Through the Looking Glass: Exploring Professional Identities on Social Media.",
abstract = "The diffusion of Social Network Sites, together with the rise of technology increasing- ly capable of leaving us “permanently connected”, has had a visible impact on the manner in which we establish and maintain our relationships with others. Less visible, but nonetheless true, is the impact that digital technology is having on our ideas of ourselves: in every social media representation, in fact, we are called to share parts of who we are with the world. This presumes a choice of “representative” content, but also a legitimate digital performance of our identities. Particularly considering professional identities, the use of digital communication tools seems to have altered the ways in which professionals work, and identify themselves as part of the workforce. Thanks to social media and mobile technology, in fact, daily activities that were previously office-bound take place anywhere, at any time. This changes substantially the meaning of work hours and spaces, leading, at the same time, to changes to the ideas of professional and private identities. This dissertation has the objective of exploring the digital identities of individuals em- ploying social media for both personal and professional communications, focusing in particular on their decisions regarding the boundaries they set between their various online representations (online personae). This work is divided in three fundamental sections. In the first section, I will review the existing literature to better define the research topics. This includes a focus on the- ories of identity and self-presentation (Chapters 2 and 3), as well as an introduction of the theories and concepts on which the empirical models are based (Chapters 4 and 5). The second section is instead dedicated to the empirical analysis of the data, and to the test of the hypotheses previously introduced (Chapters 6 and 7). In the last section, the results will be compared with the existing literature and interpreted, providing sugges- tions for future research, as well as possible applications for the practice.",
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Through the Looking Glass: Exploring Professional Identities on Social Media. / Ranzini, Giulia.

2014. 163 p.

Research output: PhD ThesisPhD Thesis - Research external, graduation externalAcademic

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