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Title: 'There's just nothing stable anymore' : a sociological examination of the relationship between social media consumption and youth identity in an age of uncertainty
Author: Theodoridis, Konstantinos
ISNI:       0000 0004 9354 4735
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis investigates the relationship between young people’s identities and the consumption of social media in a time of economic crisis. The research is designed to examine the role of self-branding in young people’s relationship with consumption and what this means for the notion of self in a digital world. In practical terms, it explores the social transformations that have emerged in an uncertain world through a comparative research between Greece and the UK focusing on young people’s consumption of social media between the ages of sixteen and thirty years old. The research is underpinned by a qualitative analysis based on primary data captured by a triangulated three-stage process. Specifically, data capture entailed: focus group discussions; photo-elicitation interviews; and a period of observation of young people’s use of Instagram online. The data indicates that young people seek a way out from everyday lives affected by the Global Financial Crisis either by emigrating or escaping into the digital world in search of what they hope to be a better life. The thesis reflects on the online branding practices adopted by young people as they compete in this new frontier of marketised space and proposes that social media provides them with a key means by which they can construct their identities and in doing so creates an environment for profile curation. The thesis discusses the implications of the relationship between economic instability, social media, youth identities and the intersection of consumption and production of a digitally augmented brand of the self that is essentially ephemeral. It further reflects on the sociological significance of social media consumption as a performative space in which young people can assert a coherent sense of identity, while simultaneously tying them to the very society that obliges them to do so.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available