Whether it’s Instagram, Snapchat or another popular platform, social media has the ability to impact the way teens see themselves and how they form their own identity.
This concept, as well as others surrounding social media, beauty ideals and visual and cultural identities in adolescents, will be discussed at a research symposium taking place at Brock on Friday, Feb. 1.
Impression Management: Constructions of Visual and Cultural Identities in North American Adolescents brings together researchers from several institutions and disciplines. Held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Pond Inlet, the event is open to all members of the Brock community.
Two discussion panels will be held throughout the day, with speakers also giving brief presentations on their work around the theme of youth identity construction.
“Identity is a key issue across disciplines because it is contested and difficult to navigate. Asserting identity raises issues of class, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, religion and politics,” says Faculty of Education Professor and event organizer Fiona Blaikie.
Her recent research has focused on youth visual and cultural identity constructions and the need for these to be explored in art education.
“Identity is a particularly problematic issue in high schools as adolescents begin to establish their sense of self,” says Blaikie. This process shapes youth as individuals and impacts the social ecosystem of schools.
“Studies of high school identities reveal various manifestations of power and agency within subcultures, as well as bullying and exclusion,” explains Blaikie.
The role of technology, celebrity culture and social media on identity construction will also be explored during the symposium.
Many forms of identity construction as well as the impact of celebrity and pop culture influencers are realized via social media, including Instagram, Snapchat and blogs.
Blaikie is currently leading a research project that focuses on visual and cultural identities and beauty ideals in adolescents, encompassing intersectionality and visual art self-creations and constructions through social media and art making.
Symposium speakers include:
- Olga Ivashkevich, Associate Professor, School of Art and Design at the University of South Carolina: Beyond “Bad” Bodies: Adjudicated Girls Perform Experimental Digital Narratives to Resist Criminalization
- Dónal O’Donoghue, Professor, Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia: Becoming Somebody in Boys’ Schools
- Michelle Bae-Dimitriadis, Assistant Professor in the School of Visual Arts, Pennsylvania State University: Decolonial Body Politics: Asian Refugee Girls’ Webtune Anime as Anti-White Privilege
- Jennifer Rowsell, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies in the Faculty of Education at Brock University: Feeling with Materials: Analyzing Young People’s Affect-Driven Maker Practices
- Kevin Gosine, Associate Professor of Sociology at Brock University: Reconciling Divergent Worlds in the Lives of Marginalized Youth
- Shauna Pomerantz, Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies at Brock University: ‘It’s my Lifeblood’, or Why Do We Disparage What Girls Value Most in Their Construction of Self?
- Fiona Blaikie, Professor, Art Education, Faculty of Education at Brock University: Embodied, Constructed and Performed Youth Identities in Relation to Global Celebrity Influencers, Popular Culture, Social Media and Intersectionality: Dreaming the Impossible Dream.
The discussions will be moderated by Dolana Mogadime, Associate Professor in Brock’s Faculty of Education. Mogadime’s scholarship resides in the arenas of ethnographic, auto-ethnographic and narrative inquiry. She focuses on social justice and intersectionality, particularly around issues of race, gender and class.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided at the symposium. Members of local school boards have also been invited.
Capacity for the event is limited and registration is required by Thursday, Jan. 24 for catering purposes. For more details on the day’s speakers and to register for the event, visit the Faculty of Education website.