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A Study on the Construction of Identity in the Blogging World Among Hong Kong Adolescents



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A Study on the Construction of Identity in the Blogging World Among Hong Kong Adolescents by Man-Ying Tsang
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This dissertation, "A Study on the Construction of Identity in the Blogging World Among Hong Kong Adolescents" by Man-ying, Tsang, 曾曼瑩, was obtained from The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong) and is being sold pursuant to Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License. The content of this dissertation has not been altered in any way. We have altered the formatting in order to facilitate the ease of printing and reading of the dissertation. All rights not granted by the above license are retained by the author. Abstract: Blogging has been one of the most popular means of computer-mediated communication in recent years. It is generally agreed that blogging has replaced traditional diary writing and functioned as a useful tool for individuals to present themselves and construct their self-images. Its popularity has also drawn the attention of many scholars and much research has been conducted to investigate the different issues related to the presentation of identities by bloggers particularly adolescents. Despite the significant impact of blogging on adolescent identity development, few attempts have been made to explore the role of contextual elements in identity construction. Moreover, most previous studies on blogs were conducted in separation from the bloggers and their offline world. The blogging world was not well-connected to the bloggers' other aspects of lives. The current study has adopted a constructionist approach to explore the identity construction of a group of Hong Kong adolescents. The notion of communities of practice is used to conceptualize the nonymous context of the blogging world. More importantly, more attention is paid to various contextual elements which constitute the online community of practice so as to gain a more comprehensive understanding of online identity work. The analysis examines the textual and non-textual elements of blogs to investigate how the adolescents construct different forms of identity which manifest their engagement in the online communities of practice. It shows that the nonymous context has resulted in adolescents presenting a wide range of desirable qualities which include interpersonal-related qualities, academic related qualities, personal related qualities and family-related qualities throughout their blogs. The construction which enables the adolescents to fulfill numerous developmental tasks is not done in isolation but in response to their interaction with the members of the blogging community. The importance of audience as a contextual element is seen in their role as identity co-constructors who help reinforce or supplement the blog owners' identity presentation from time to time. Furthermore, a strong connectedness between the adolescents' online and offline identity is observed. The offline world serves as another community of practice which interacts with the online world - the community of practice under investigation. The study suggests that the diverse forms of identity constructed online are strong evidence showing the adolescents' competence in performing sophisticated identity work. It is also expected that there will be more interaction between various communities and their contextual elements in the future development of identity construction with the rapid penetration of social-networking tools in our everyday lives, especially adolescents. An overlap between different online communities is seen in the current study. More thorough examination of adolescent identity work through social-networking tools can provide valuable insights into the emotional health and well-being of adolescents over time. DOI: 10.5353/th_b4786967 Subjects: Identity (Psychology) in adolescence - China - Hong KongBlogs - China - Hong Kong
Release date NZ
January 26th, 2017
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Country of Publication
United States
colour illustrations
Open Dissertation Press
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