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Self-presentation and Impression Formation through Photographs in an LGBT Online Dating Community
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This netnographic and autoethnographic study examines self-presentation and impression formation through photographs presented on a gay online dating community, Qruiser. The theoretical framework of Goffman’s performance of self and Asch’s formation of impression was developed based on semiotic signifiers and signified. The study was carried out through participant observation of 200 gay daters’ photographs, online interviews, group discussions and narratives of the author’s personal experience. Observation showed that gay daters primarily presented six categories of photographs: self-portrait, daily pictures, travel pictures, sexually explicit pictures, pictures of objects, and black and white pictures. The daters were asked to justify their photographs in self-presentations, and the responses showed that the signs in the photographs could be both intentional and unintentional. Online interviews and group discussion participants suggested that there were distinctions of central and peripheral signifiers in impression formation. Furthermore, participants felt that misunderstanding of impressions resulting from dating photographs was unimportant, due to the compensation of textual presentation and messages. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 94 p.
Keyword [en]
Photograph, Self-presentation, Impression Formation, Misunderstanding, online dating, Qruiser.com
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-230774OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-230774DiVA: diva2:741828
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2014-08-29 Created: 2014-08-29 Last updated: 2016-03-15Bibliographically approved

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