Selfie freedom: towards a sociology of everyday selfie practices
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 00:23 authored by Rachel Ann Leembruggen
This Master of Research thesis is an exploration of the everyday cultural practices of selfie-taking and selfie-viewing. It examines the social drivers behind the production, circulation and consumption of selfies, and looks at the emergence of selfies and selfie-taking as a cultural object and vernacular social practice. Based on a comprehensive review of the literature about selfies, social media, photography, and human interaction, as well as eight in-depth interviews with whom I call “selfie-enthusiasts’ and ‘anti-selfieists’, I attempt to situate the selfie as an emergent cultural form in contemporary society. I approach my investigation of selfies by opposing the popular assumption that it is simply a frivolous enterprise, or a practice taken up solely by self-involved individuals. Through my empirical research, I create eight textural ‘snapshots’ of participants, giving the reader an insight into their opinions and experiences. I explain that both groups of selfie-informants take a reflexive stance, demonstrating thoughtful personal analysis of this seemingly thoughtless activity. Although I look at the selfie using an interdisciplinary approach, I suggest that studying the selfie through a sociological lens is a fruitful exercise: there is a sociology of the selfie.