The Mediatization of the Self in Blogs: Journal Styled Weblogs as Spectacle in the Consumer Society
Online diaries or journal styled weblogs have often been compared to traditional written diaries. This comparative strategy has been adopted by scholars of biography and communication, to investigate the practice of self-documentation as it transitions from a private and solipsistic act, to a public and communal one. Using textual methods to analyze a purposive sample of journal styled blogs and their cultural intertexts, my research suggests that weblogs can be more productively understood as a form of 'mediatization' rather than as documentation of the self. This 'mediatization' can be read as a practice in which bloggers write about their selves and their lives according to the conventions of the media, and in the language of fame and celebrity. This form of self-documentation is dissimilar to traditional diary writing, because of the way it subordinates the function of private reflection to public verification. The mediatized self in blogs resonates with modes of selfhood under the auspices of accelerating consumerism, which are pliant and performative as opposed to essential. Using this line of reasoning, my research discursively analyzes this mediatized self in blogs, as a spectacle in the consumer society.
Keywords: Weblog, Online Identity, Online Community, Narrative
Master's Candidate, Teaching Assistant, Communications and New Media Program