Webometric Thoughts

November 8, 2009

The Presentation of Self: A framework for understanding social media

Filed under: Goffman,Social Media,real-time web — admin @ 11:53 am

I dislike the current focus on a real-time web for its tendency to emphasise recent information rather than quality information. The two do not have to be mutually exclusive, but often we are failing to take into consideration works of the past as we attempt to keep up with the new. This seems to be especially true in the realm of social media, where we are constantly striving to spot the next big thing. However I’ve just finished one of the best books for understanding the effect of social media, and it was published fifty years ago: Goffman’s The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

Discussing social interactions and the presentation of self in a world very different to the one we find ourselves in today, Goffman provides both an intentional framework to help us understand the interactions, and an unintentional example of how these interactions can change over time.

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