Macquarie University
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Selfie freedom: towards a sociology of everyday selfie practices

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posted on 2022-03-29, 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.


Table of Contents

Introduction -- Chapter One. Yearning for the visual : photography, self-portraiture and the snapshot -- Chapter Two. Situating the selfie -- Chapter Three. Sociology of the selfie -- Chapter Four. Snapshots from the field-- Conclusion -- Appendices -- References.


Empirical thesis. Bibliography: pages 94-107

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Sociology

Department, Centre or School

Department of Sociology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Alison Leitch


Copyright Rachel Ann Leembruggen 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




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