2017 #SMSociety Theme: Social Media for Social Good or Evil

Our online behaviour is far from virtual–it extends our offline lives. Much social media research has identified the positive opportunities of using social media; for example, how people use social media to form support groups online, participate in political uprising, raise money for charities, extend teaching and learning outside the classroom, etc. However, mirroring offline experiences, we have also seen social media being used to spread propaganda and misinformation, recruit terrorists, live stream criminal activities, reinforce echo chambers by politicians, and perpetuate hate and oppression (such as racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic behaviour).

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Sunday, July 30 • 14:00 - 15:00
Panel 5A: Why Persona Studies: The Value Of The Persona Studies Approach For Research Into Online Identity And The Transformation Of The Public Self

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Panel Speakers: P. David Marshall, Kim Barbour and Christopher Moore

Abstract: A great deal of research has been developing employing what is called Persona Studies to investigate social media. (See Marshall, 2014; Barbour and Marshall 2015, Marshall 2016: Marshall, Moore and Barbour, 2015, Moore and Turnbull (2017 forthcoming). Persona Studies research has emerged across an array of publications and has spawned the emergence of a new journal called Persona Studies itself.

This panel is designed to familiarize social media researchers with the value of this approach to the study of online culture. The panel is composed of the leading researchers in the area who have developed many of the foundational works and ideas that have advanced in this emerging sub-field. 

David Marshall will serve as the moderator and facilitator of the panel. In his introduction, he will introduce some of the key concepts and words that have emerged from this direction in research including:  
1. The meaning and deployment of the concept of Persona, 
2. Intercommunication, 
3. The interplay of Representational media and cultural regime and the Presentational media and cultural regime and 
4. The deployment of VARP (Value, Agency, Reputation, Prestige) analyses 
along with several other keywords. 

He will conclude his remarks with a brief description of his recent research on political persona and how social media has transformed what could be described as the political public self and his study of the medical and legal professions and their online personas. 

Kim Barbour will present on her recent persona research and how it is usefully applied in studying the online art scene as well as the digital academic persona. 
Chris Moore, along with providing a visual mapping of persona work in online settings, will help provide pathways for participants to understand how persona is neither an individual identity or a collective identity, but a strategic identity that negotiates the relationship between the individual and collective in several online and social media settings. 

Sunday July 30, 2017 14:00 - 15:00 EDT
TRS 1-073 - 7th Flr Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON M5G 2C4