Enmeshing the User and Design: How Is Identity Managed Online?

  • Harry T. Dyer
Part of the Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education book series (CSTE, volume 11)


This chapter presents a sustained look at data collected from a year-long series of interviews with young people to consider how they framed and understood identity online. The data reveals a number of elements which shape how identity manifests online.

First we consider how the design features present in social media shape identity performances online. Adding further complexity to this, we briefly consider the role of third-party apps in augmenting possible experiences of social media, before moving on to explore how a user’s socio-cultural resources and realities might shape their engagements with social media in an ongoing flexible manner. Finally we explore identity performances online as a negotiation between socio-culturally grounded users and specific platform designs. It is suggested that identity performances online emerge from the enmeshing of user and design in an ongoing manner. The data presented in this chapter lays the groundwork for the new theoretical framework through which to understand identity performance online, proposed in Chap.  6 of this book.


Identity Identity negotiation Identity theory Identity performance Design Social media Digital duality 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harry T. Dyer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of East AngliaNorwichUK

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