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Selfi es

Bildkommunikation im Zeitalter digitaler Verdatung

Back to issue: Zeitschrift für Kulturphilosophie 2018/1: Digitalisierung
DOI: https://doi.org/10.28937/1000108152

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The history of the human face is the history of its social coding and the media- conditions of its appearance. The best way to explain the »selfie«-practices of today’s digital culture is to understand such practices as both participative and commercialized cultural techniques that allow their users to fashion their selves in ways they consider relevant for their identities as individuals. Whereas they may put their image of themselves front stage with their selfies, such images for being socially shared have to match determinate role-expectations, body-norms and ideals of beauty. Against this backdrop, collectively shared repertoires of images of normalized subjectivity have developed and leave their mark on the culture of digital communication. In the critical and reflexive discourses that surround the exigencies of auto-medial self-thematization we find reactions that are critical of self-representation as such, and we find strategies of de-subjectification with reflexive awareness of their media conditions. Both strands of critical reactions however remain ambivalent as reactions of protest. The final part of the present article focuses on inter-discourses, in particular discourses that construe the phenomenon of selfies thoroughly as an expression of juvenile narcissism. The author shows how this commonly accepted reading which has precedents in the history of pictorial art reproduces resentment against women and tends to stylize adolescent persons into a homogenous »generation« lost in self-love