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Browsing by Subject "tytöt"

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  • Holkkola, Matilda (2021)
    In this thesis I will theorise girls’ Instagram selfies, their spatialities and their agencies to create a sexed subject. Theory and onto-epistemology are in a big part of this thesis with a non-representational theory (NRT) perspective. This post-humanist theory of human geography is discussed with post-humanist feminist thinking, that also Noora Pyyry and Rachel Colls have combined. With this feminist perspective the non-representational subject will not be universal: it will contain sexuality with all its bodily, material, performative and societal aspects. In this thesis I will focus on girls’ practices by which and assemblages in which the selfies are created and published. Instagram’s spatialities and agencies will be also discussed. Instagram is an everchanging, affective and everyday social media app that many young people use. Traditionally humanist social media researchers have studied profile work, which contains one’s behaviour on their Instagram account, as rational, independent and intentional activities that a humanist individual does. By selective self-presentation that social media makes possible, an individual is traditionally perceived to be able to decide which parts of them they want to share to their audience on apps. The social media audience is present as imagined audience in taking a selfie and publishing a selfie. However, the post-humanist onto-epistemology of NRT questions the independency, rationality and intentionality of the “self” that the common understanding of profile work presumes. Instead, in NRT the subject and its agency are seen as a part of an assemblage, whose agencies are always relational. Also the concept of representation as a representative replica of the “symbol world” is challenged in NRT, and instead representations are perceived as active acts that have agency. Because the world is affective and constantly on the move it is impossible to be able to represent. So instead of social constructions NRT and post-human feminism concentrate on action, real world materiality and the bodies. The data used in this thesis has been produced with two student groups of 9 th grader girls in Helsinki. The methods were semi-structured focus group interviews and participative mind-map. The results suggest that Instagram’s spatialities are multiple and constantly on the move, and that Instagram is emerging with other social media apps. The girls told in the interviews that some of the selfies in Instagram have originally been taken in another photo app, Snapchat. This means that Instagram and Snapchat are creating each other, emerging with and haunting in each other. Instagram seems to be also a very physical, inseparable and everyday space of young people’s lives. In addition, there are also capitalist and neoliberal practices and affects present in Instagram’s spatialities. This means for example individual accounts competing for likes, comments, followers, and being tagged to photos. Selfies are performative acts that can materialize differently according to subject’s sex and its emerging. Selfies can produce girl subjects and different ways to perform girlhood. An example of girl subject is an interesting and problematically viewed “catfish” subject. Despite the performativity present in the assemblage of selfie-taking, it may be that even more affective moment is when a selfie is on its way to be published in Instagram. The subject that is emerging with the selfie can sense the gazes of the imagined audience, which brings future horizons present to the present moment. In this thesis I will also perceive Instagram selfies as events, that have the potential of changing the future horizons. Instagram selfies gather Instagram users together to comment or to be tagged in the selfie, which makes new starts, for example new acquaintances and new stories, possible.