During this lunch meeting, we will hear from prof. Mimi Nichter. She will speak about her new book “A Filtered Life. Social Media on a College Campus”. This is the first comprehensive ethnographic account to explore how college students create and manage multiple identities on social media.
|Date||25 October 2021|
Drawing on interviews and digital ethnographic data gleaned from popular social media platforms, the authors of the book document and make visible routinized practices that are typically hidden and operating behind the scenes. The book is co-authored by Taylor and Nichter.
They introduce the concept of ‘digital multiples’, wherein students strategically present themselves differently across social media platforms. This requires both the copious production of content and the calculated development of an instantly recognizable aesthetic or brand.
Taylor and Nichter examine key contradictions that emerged from student narratives, including presenting a self that is both authentic and highly edited, appearing upbeat even during emotionally difficult times, and exuding body positivity even when frustrated with how you look. Students struggled with this series of impossibilities; yet, they felt compelled to maintain a vibrant online presence.
Mimi Nichter is Professor Emerita in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. She is the author of Lighting Up: The Rise of Social Smoking on College Campuses and Fat Talk: What Girls and their Parents say about Dieting.
The session will take place in the Anthropology Common Room, REC B 5.12. We will provide lunch.