Authors: Keely Blanch; Karen Nairn; Susan Sandretto
Addresses: University of Otago, College of Education, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand ' University of Otago, College of Education, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand ' University of Otago, College of Education, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand
Abstract: In New Zealand, the use of social media for educational purposes is being encouraged (Ministry of Education, 2013). Yet, while educators focus on the educational advantages of using social media, there is little research available on the effects on students. This paper explores the way a small group of senior students from one New Zealand secondary school negotiated their identities on a class' Facebook page. This qualitative study uses Goffman's dramaturgical metaphor and poststructuralist conceptualisations of discourses and fluidity of identity. The findings offer an insight into the tensions faced by this group of students as they negotiated their identity presentations to blended audiences when the boundaries between public and private are blurred. The students' identity performance and participation on the page was influenced by power differentials, the structure of the page, and an awareness of audience. This has implications for the way educators use social media in classrooms.
Keywords: Facebook; classroom technology; secondary education; student identity; New Zealand; NZ; blended audiences; front stages; Goffman; online learning environment; collaboration; social network sites; SNS; social media; interactive discourses; power differentials; web page structure; audience awareness.
International Journal of Social Media and Interactive Learning Environments, 2014 Vol.2 No.1, pp.70 - 84
Received: 28 May 2013
Accepted: 17 Jul 2013
Published online: 13 May 2014 *