Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Identity construction or obfuscation on social media: a case of Facebook and WhatsApp
Authors: Jakaza, Ernest
Keywords: Identity construction
social media
appraisal theory
social constructionism
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Routledge
Series/Report no.: African Identities;Vol.19 ; No.2
Abstract: This paper appraises the way Facebook and WhatsApp social media users construct or obfuscate their identities and that of their followers and/or audience. Social media users post their statuses and what is on their mind on the public domain. These posts are presumed to ‘project’ the sender’s identity dis/aligning themselves with readers or potential readers. The discursive processes involved are crucial for the appraisal of how identities are constructed or obfuscated. Language is at the centre of identity co-construction or obfuscation. Engaging the Appraisal and Social Constructionism theoretical frameworks, the paper examines identity construction or obfuscation from the three levels of analysis: lexical, textual pragmatic and interactional levels. Data for analysis is purposively sampled. Observation and group discussions are utilised to appraise the discursive socio-semantic meanings of the status and posts on social media. The paper argues that identities are largely obfuscated than constructed on social media. Identities are never unified, fragmentation of identities in differing situations and contexts compound obfuscation of identities in general.
ISSN: 1472-5851
Appears in Collections:Research Papers

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
jakaza.pdfAbstract134.32 kBAdobe PDFThumbnail
Show full item record

Page view(s)

checked on Jul 16, 2024


checked on Jul 16, 2024

Google ScholarTM


Items in MSUIR are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.