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Facebook and cultural identity: Discourses on mediation among international students

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Abstract

Digital mediation is implicated in the production of cultural identity in multiple ways. The representations produced and circulated on social media platforms, along with the ubiquitous nature of these platforms, become part and parcel of the production and performance of cultural identity. This paper investigates discourses of Facebook mediation and cultural identity among a sample of international undergraduates in media and communication at a major Dutch university. The analysis of 43 written student essays reveals four discourses: Facebook as a mirror of cultural identity, as a cultural mosaic, as a site of cultural difference and as an opportunity for critical reflection on the idea of cultural identity. Interestingly, these discourses are permeated by a recurrent vision of individual control of both mediation and cultural identity. This article discusses the ideological work entailed in these discourses, calling for more awareness raising on the ways in which social media actively construct social reality.
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Keywords: Facebook; cultural identity; discourse; higher education; international students; mediation; social media

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 0000000123591569 Erasmus University Rotterdam

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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