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Who Do They Think They Are?

Teenage Girls and Their Avatars in Spaces of Social Online Communication

Series:

Connie Morrison

Who Do They Think They Are? Teenage Girls and Their Avatars in Spaces of Social Online Communication documents a descriptive case study of teenage girls who created autobiographical avatars for their social online spaces. It explores the complex and often conflicted negotiations behind girlhood identity and representation in a cyber-social world. Comparisons are drawn between autobiographical avatars and the profile pictures that teenage girls use on their social networking sites as they consider the manner in which identity is negotiated, constructed, co-authored, and represented. The contradictions and expectations of online social and popular culture make representations of identity simultaneously limitless and limiting for the girls who create them. Given the nature of the identity-defining and social act of creating an autobiographical avatar, a critical media literacy frame provides a pedagogical opportunity for bringing avatar construction into the secondary English language arts classroom.
This book provides guidance for educators and researchers interested in the social construction of identity in an increasingly visual world, and will be valuable in courses ranging from literacy studies, media education, cultural studies, youth studies, educational research, teacher education, and popular culture to feminist, gender studies, and women’s studies courses.

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Index 241

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Index ability/Disability, 119, 126, 172, 196 Disability, 120,126 affective investment, 32 affinity spaces, 6, 109-110 agency, and affinity spaces, 6, 109 and new literacies, 44, 55 and suturing, 52 and avatars, 14, 89, 137, 161 claiming, 17, 112, 161, 197, 229 denial of, 13, 136 participating in culture, 18, 56, 110 popular culture, 148, 221 resisting culture, 18, 53, 159, 193 technology as a means of, 6 agency creating opportunity, 44, 148 Agger, B., 9 AIM, 6, 73 Alter Ego, 1, 34 alter ego, gaming avatar, 2, 3, 5, 10 identity shifting, 5, 198 Alvermann, D., 31, 55, 62, 110, Alvermann, D., Moon, M. C. and Hagood, M., 109 anime, 222 appearance, 16, 144, 173, 175, 176, accuracy of, 87, 105, 129, 183 and belonging, 123, 132, 162, 166, 185 and social relationships, 19, 132 being judged on, 16, 131-132, 160, 165-167 importance of online, 14, 165-166, 173-174, 219 media preoccupation with, 148, 167 autobiography, 7, 15, see Ch. 2, 69, 96, 106, 114, 170, 181, 193-194 and poststructuralism, 64, 66 avatar as, 9, 57, 63-67, 114 constructed self representation, 19, 227 discursive production of memory, 213 in education, 17, 63-66, 187, 201, 213, 216-218, 227 limits of, 96, 106 visual autobiography, 132, 134, 144, 172, 192, 206 autobiographical consideration, 73 fragment, 68, 69, 99, 187 images, 98, 189 intent, 117 nature of, 90-91, 113, 133-134, 171, 174 representation, 79, 102, 114, 126, 147, 157 stories, 105, 117 subject in progress, 66 telling, 189 writing, 64, 65-67, 134 autobiobox,...

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