Articulating “Together-Ness” - Image Practices of Young People in Thailand, Austia and Vietnam
Converging media technologies (smartphones, social media and the hybridization of both) are used around the world to micro-coordinate interactions and to manage knowledge and relationships. In particular the everyday lives of young people worldwide are increasingly becoming “mediatized”. Particularly since the proliferation of 3G mobile standards new modes of digital self-expression, practices of life-streaming and lifelogging as well as new emotional modes of communication have evolved.
Young users in Europe and South-East Asia seem to adopt these media technologies in order to foster social embeddedness in a culture of constant flux. Sharing pictures online, which facilitates the expression of feelings, has become a central practice of group affirmation.
During the contemporary period of rapid social transformation also described as globalization the constitution of youth subjectivity takes place within a number of salient discourses.
Referring to an ongoing research project, this paper analyses the locally shaped creative practices of visual online impression management among young people from Thailand, Vietnam and Austria focussing on the articulation of diverse subject positions.
As youth in contemporary societies live hybrid worlds encompassing a variety of local, regional and global identity discourses, practices of visual impression management online are expected to reflect highly complex subject positions. Youth media cultures are both – local and global – as they adopt globally available technologies while at the same being embedded into immediate and embodied economic and political relations.
Applying a combination of segmental analysis and qualitative group interviews, the research project concentrates on how the relationship of self and other as well as “together-ness” is articulated on the network profiles of young people in Austria, Thailand and Vietnam.