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Produsing Theory in a Digital World 2.0

The Intersection of Audiences and Production in Contemporary Theory – Volume 2


Rebecca Ann Lind

Continuing the explorations begun in the first Produsing Theory volume, this book provides a site at which varied theories – some still emerging – can intersect and shine a light into the spaces between what previously had been neatly separated and discrete components of media systems. In some settings, division by audience, content, and production settings remains useful, but this volume, like the first, is all about the interstices.
Contributors reflect varied perspectives in their approaches to the spaces formed as a result of rapidly developing and swiftly deploying new communications technologies and social software. They shine multiple spotlights into the intersection of audiences and production, providing a guide toward a nuanced understanding of the interstitial spaces.
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5 Online Performative Identity Theory: A Preliminary Model for Social Media’s Impact on Adolescent Identity Formation



Online Performative Identity Theory: A Preliminary Model for Social Media’s Impact on Adolescent Identity Formation

Bradley W. Gorham and Jaime R. Riccio

In the first Produsing Theory volume, Shayla Thiel-Stern (2012) discussed how adolescents’ instant messaging and social media communication routinely breaks the fourth wall to collaboratively produce and perform identity within the confines of both technological and cultural templates. Borrowing from the language of dramaturgy and setting her analysis in symbolic interactionism, she explores how the new ways young people communicate open up new possibilities for presentation of self. We expand that work by adapting and applying social cognitive mechanisms to understand the power and effects of collaborative identity performance and the ways in which repeated and consistent productions of identity create enduring schemas for self. In essence, if symbolic interactionism provides a conceptual way of thinking about interaction online, this chapter aims to link those ideas to the psychological effects such interactions are likely to produce to reinforce perceptions of self around identity.

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