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Session 2C [clear filter]
Tuesday, July 12
 

13:30

Session 2C: Identity: Professions, Institutions & Culture
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - 302, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 


Moderators
Tuesday July 12, 2016 13:30 - 14:30
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - 302 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:31

Beyond the Screen Shot: Applying Filmic Methods to Online Identity Production
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - 302, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • Finola Kerrigan, Birmingham University, United Kingdom
  • Kathryn Waite, Birmingham University, United Kingdom
  • Andrew Hart, Birmingham University, United Kingdom

Background:

Social media offers qualitative researchers volume, richness and the promise of direct access to the lived experience of the individual.  However, the scale and complexity of social media data presents a “little big data” challenge in terms of data collection, aggregation and interpretation (Esomar 2014). Social media identity production is located within an online infrastructure that reproduces a world “out there” (Pridmore & Lyon 2011) and involves the curation of numerous data fragments within ongoing episodic narration. Established qualitative data collection and analysis can struggle to capture fully this longitudinal and iterative process. We contend that new methods of qualitative data collection and analysis are needed to capture the longitudinal adjustment to social norms; self-censorship and the translation of the self into content in order to provide a holistic understanding of the online identity production.

Objective:

Our paper synthesises filmic methods and consumer research theory to develop an innovative methodology, which captures the interactive process-based nature of social media identity production.

Methods:

We implement a four-phase mixed-methods methodology, which forms a prism of reflexive data collection and analysis.  We recruited professional filmmakers to construct films composed of a discrete chosen participant’s social media data. In the first phase, the professional filmmakers acted as expert interpreters and constructors of narrative. These filmmakers constructed a biopic of selected research subjects using longitudinal data (words, pictures, speech and music) extracted from social media platforms. The filmmakers were not informed of the research agenda and focussed solely upon the subject’s online identity as enacted on social media. The filmic process involved the synthesis and aggregation of data into a themed narrative. Second, the subject responded to the filmic representation of their online identity. Third, the filmmaker responded to the subject response. Fourth, the final films and accounts by participants and film makers were analysed.

Results:

We report on our experience of using this method and argue that this approach enhances understanding of the disclosed and the (re)-interpreted self within social media. Our work shows that social media identity production involves reconciliation with the temporal self, harmonizing multiple selves and reconciling the dichotomous public/private self. The resultant findings advance understanding of celebritisation and marketisation of the self in contexts where public and private merge in increasingly challenging ways.

Future Work:

We plan to synthesise film production and interpretive consumer research theory to propose a robust methodological framework for the presentation and analysis of social media activity. Our work will provide a nuanced and reflexive template for research into digital narrative construction and self presentation.

References:

Esomar (2014) Big Data and the Future of Qualitative Research, RW Connect, Retrieved from http://rwconnect.esomar.org/big-data-and-the-future-of-qualitative-research/, Accessed 2016-01-15

Pridmore, J., & Lyon, D. (2011). Marketing as Surveillance: Assembling Consumers as Brands, In D. Zwick & J. Cayla, (Eds), Inside Marketing (pp. 115-136). Oxford: Oxford University Press.


Tuesday July 12, 2016 13:31 - 14:30
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - 302 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:31

Cultural Identities in Wikipedias
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - 302, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • Marc Miquel-Ribé, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • David Laniado, Eurecat, Spain

This paper studies identity-based motivation in Wikipedia as a drive for editors to act congruently with their cultural identity values by contributing with content related to them. To assess its influence, we developed a computational method to identify articles related to the cultural identities associated to each language and applied it to 40 Wikipedia language editions. The results show that about a quarter of each Wikipedia language edition is dedicated to represent the corresponding cultural identities. The topical coverage of these articles reflects that geography, biographies and culture are the most common themes, although each language shows its idiosyncrasy and other topics are also present. Consistently with the idea that a Cultural Identity is defined in relation to others, as entangled and separated, the majority of these articles remain exclusive to each language. A study of how this content is shared among language editions reveals special links between cultures. The approach and findings presented in this study can help to foster participation and inter-cultural enrichment of Wikipedias. The dataset of articles related to the cultural identity of each language edition is made available for further research. 

Tuesday July 12, 2016 13:31 - 14:30
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - 302 Goldsmiths University, Building 2

13:31

Working 24/7: Identity management strategies as boundary mechanisms in a greedy institution.
Location: PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - 302, 
Goldsmiths, University of London, Building 2
Campus Map 

Contributors:
  • Sietske Ruijter, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Kim van Zoest, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands

Background: 
The growing use of social media has brought both opportunities and challenges to organizations. One of these challenges is the uncontrolled spread of content on social media that could potentially damage the reputation of the organization and its members (e.g. Meijer & Kleinnijenhuis, 2006). Social identity theory can be used to explain how organizations and their members cope with such phenomena (e.g. Petriglieri, 2011). Some organizations attempt to counter negative outcomes by imposing social media standards on their members, as one of the many ways in which the organization tries to enforce their employees’ loyalty. Employees, however, are then confronted with various characteristics of what Coser (1974) and Peterson and Uhnoo (2012) refer to as a ‘greedy institution’.

Objective:
In this paper, we explain how police officers – who strongly identify with their organization and profession – cope with both threats to their organizational and professional identity emerging from external pressure (e.g. social media content) as well as demands of total commitment from their organization.

Methods: 
For this study, a mixed method approach is used. Data analysis is based on 32 semi-structured interviews and focused probes (following a Q-sorting experiment) in a large police region in The Netherlands. The interviews (which lasted from 35 minutes to one and a half hour) were executed by two researchers, tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim.

Results:
In line with social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1979), police officers try to maintain a positive social identity. As their identity is threatened by, for example, social media content, they engage in identity management strategies.

Contrary to what was expected based on social identity theory, police officers – who strongly identify with their organization, and even stronger with their profession – do not frequently choose an identity management strategy that actively protects their social identity in case of an identity threat. Instead of positively distinguishing their threatened identity, they, for example, conceal their police identity in private times or condemn the condemners (Petriglieri, 2011). This can be explained by the finding that the Dutch Police shows striking similarities with Coser’s (1974) description of a greedy (highly demanding) institution. The police organization wants to ensure that police employees actively protect the organizational image in case of a threat and refrain from possible image threatening behavior. In order to avoid negative organizational image and subsequent legitimacy losses, appropriate behavior is enforced by the organization under the pretext of: 

“Don’t forget… everything you do is under a magnifying glass. You, literally, live in a glass house. For the smallest mistake you might make, you could be reprimanded or even fired.” (R8)

Our focused interviews reveal that tensions arise when police employees at the same time try to protect their professional identity and their ‘personal space’ when their professional identity is threatened in private times. Police employees, then, perceive a threat not merely as an identity threat, but also as a threat to their work-private boundary. The struggle police employees experience because they, on the one hand, want to speak up to protect their threatened and so much ‘beloved’ professional identity, and on the other hand want to enjoy their off-time, is well reflected in the following quote:

“You are proud of your work (…). So, every now and then, I do get tossed back and forth, because on the one hand, you don’t like that people always talk negative about your work, but on the other hand, you don’t always feel like ending up in discussions. (…) In first instance, I would try to keep my mouth shut, but eventually, um, if I do fall for the provocation, I would defend it.“ (R21)

In accordance, police officers not merely use identity management strategies to protect their threatened identity. They also use these strategies as boundary mechanisms: to enhance vigilance against total intrusions of their personal identity.

Future Work: 
Data analysis is already at an advanced stage. A first draft of a paper will be presented at the conference. Feedback will be welcomed. The paper is one of the studies in the PhD project of the first author.

References:

Coser, L. A. (1974). Greedy institutions: Patterns of Undivided Commitment. New York: Free press.

Meijer, M. M. & Kleinnijenhuis, J. (2006). News and corporate reputation: Empirical findings

from the Netherlands. Public Relations Review, 32, 341-348.

Peterson, A. & Uhnoo, S. (2012). Trials of loyalty: Ethnic minority police officers as ‘outsiders’

within a greedy institution. European Journal of Criminology, 9 (4), 354-369.

Petriglieri, J. L. (2011). Under threat: responses to and the consequences of threats to

individual identities. Academy of Management Review, 36 (4), 641-662.


Tajfel, H., & Turner, J. C. (1979). An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. In W. G. Austin,

& S. Worchel (Eds.), The social psychology of intergroup relations (pp. 33-47).

Monterey, CA: Brooks Cole.


Tuesday July 12, 2016 13:31 - 14:30
PSH (Professor Stuart Hall Building) - 302 Goldsmiths University, Building 2