Remarks from the backstage: Blogging performances, blogger identity and privacy strategies

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Abstract OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY The study seeks further understanding on the phenomenon of blogging by exploring its relation to consumer identity construction. Blogging motivations, functions of symbolic consumption in selfpresentation and strategies how bloggers manage their privacy in social media are explored. In focus of the study are bloggers who engage in "lifestreaming"’, i.e. blogging is anchored to the rhythm and resources of one’s mundane everyday life. METHODOLOGY The findings ground on interviews held with 17 bloggers who ranged in age from 23 to over 50 years old and represented all range of sociocultural backgrounds. Interview technique of autodriving (Heisley and Levy 1991) was used which purpose is to elicit reactions to individual’s own consumption activities – here the activities in consumers’ personal profiles and spaces in social media. In data analysis, narrative approach was taken using a hermeneutic framework to interpret consumer stories and consumption meanings (Thompson 1997). FINDINGS The motivations found in blogger stories are self-documentation and group spirit which support previous research emphasizing social interaction. Symbolic consumption was found function different ways in blogging performances and in terms of blogger identity. In the first it was instrumental in balancing identity conflicts that arose from unfitting life themes in relation to the community one is part of. In the latter, consumption was found to create sense of self and social linkages in signifying affiliation and distinction from others in the blogosphere. Two strategies how bloggers manage their privacy in relation to community and social media in general were distinguished: privacy as strategic act and privacy as control. Keywords: blogging, consumer identity, self-presentation, symbolic consumption,, selfdisclosure, social media, privacy
blogging, consumer identity, self-presentation, symbolic consumption, self-disclosure, social media, privacy
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