The Presentation of Self in Social Network Sites: an approach from Erving Goffman’ work

Javier Serrano-Puche

Abstract

Social network sites have become increasingly important as a space for interaction and interpersonal communication. Their users also expressed their personal identities, although the specific nature of the digital realm. The paper explores how self-expression is perfomed in social networks. The starting point is Erving Goffman’ work titled The Presentation of Self in everyday life (1959), where the Canadian sociologist developed a dramaturgical model of social interaction. We show his theoretical model projecting it to the field of online interactions and putting it in dialogue with numerous quantitative research and empirical studies on expression of identity on the Internet. We conclude by affirming the validity of Goffmanian thought and showing, in terms of expression of identity, the similarities and differences between face-to-face communication and computer-mediated communication.

Keywords

social network sites; identity; self-expression; Erving Goffman; interaction; interpersonal communication

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