Mobile identities: managing self and stigma in iPhone app use

Lorian Leong


Based on qualitative analysis, this study empirically investigates the symbolic meanings in self-presentation, produced through the collection, placement, and use of mobile apps. Given the relatively unexplored nature of this subject matter, this study offers a range of views on the topic of mobile apps and the presentation of self among young adults in London in 2014. Findings showed that although impression management techniques on a smartphone screen were similar, the motivations differed. These motivations for impression management were primarily focused on the areas of social stigma, with specific reference to sexuality, race, and gender. Expansion of this research area can further investigate other motivations and applicability of this study to other social cultures and contexts.


mobile; media; identity; presentation of self; apps; UX

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