The Model, The #Realme, and The Self-conscious Thespian: Digital Subjectivities, Young Canadian Women, and Selfies

By Katie Warfield.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Coined word of the year in 2013, the selfie, or self-portrait posted via social media, is a global online phenomenon defined through negative media discourse rather than empirical research. This paper summarizes an online survey of female-identified university students (n=42) aged 18-26 from Surrey, Canada who take selfies at least once a week. The survey explored the phenomenon of the selfie as described by female “avid selfie-takers” (takes <1 selfie/week). Basic statistics was used for data analysis of closed ended survey questions and content analysis was used for open-ended questions. The overall suggestion of the findings is that the multimodal technology of the smartphone — which acts at once as mirror, camera, and stage—shapes the digital subjectivities experienced by these plugged in young women.

Keywords: Selfies, Online Survey, Content Analysis, Phenomenology, Post-Structuralism, Lacan, Foucault, Goffman, Social Media Studies, Girl Studies, Ethics, Photography, Visual Culture

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 533.276KB).

Katie Warfield

Full-time faculty member, Journalism and communication studies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Vancouver, BC, Canada