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Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




The internet has become engrained in everyday life and social network sites (SNSs) are one of many services that promote the internet as a arena for sociability. Therefore, the ways users engage with processes of identity construction and understandings of visibility in relation to online spaces are becoming crucial aspects of modern culture. Profiles on SNSs highlight significant theoretical perspectives of modern identities in relation to reflexively creating self narratives and managing varied social contexts. However, since online profiles are displayed in mediated publics, identity functions in novel ways as it can be searched, replicated, and viewed by invisible audiences, as well as having a non-ephemeral nature. Online presentations of identity are persistently under surveillance and therefore regulated by values ascribed to particular websites on the one hand, as well as existing social norms at large. for this thesis, data garnered through qualitative interviews with undergraduate college students is used to analyze how identity is produced and policed in the online environment of Facebook.


118 leaves : col. ill. Thesis (Honors)--Smith College, Northampton, Mass., 2008. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 102-106)