Global Fashion Management Conference 2015 Global Fashion Management Conference at Florence , Renaissance of Marketing and Management in Fashion (p.57-58)


키워드 :
selfie,South Korea,social activities,social values,story-telling


Selfie refers to self-portrait photography, which became widespread practice with handy digital photographing technologies and the proliferation of social media. There are only a few studies on selfie and most of them examine the psychological profiles of selfie takers. However, we conducted a qualitative study to understand diverse goals embedded in the selfie practice and meanings of the practice.

Eighty one undergraduate students enrolled in a university in South Korea, who reported to take selfies frequently, were recruited for in-depth interviews. Semi-structured interviews were conducted for thirty minutes to an hour, asking their selfie-taking behaviors including general information (when, where, how, why), skills and techniques, related memories and experiences, and sharing and online posting. Transcripts and observations were analyzed through multiple steps of coding.

Data revealed numerous strategies in selfie photography and statements about why those strategies are important, that is, goals of selfie practice. We present findings in the following structure:

Operation of selective selves → Subordinate goals → Superordinate goals

We abstract the essential feature of selfie as augmented control as a result of integrative and selective operation of the three selves as the one who photographs, the one who is photographed, and/or the one who owns and uses the selfie. Participants’ strategies reflect this complexity. For example, tips for camera angles and lighting are related to self as a subject who photographs. Knowledge on facial expressions reflects self as an object that is photographed. Photoshop skills are obtained as self who uses the photographs.

Five goals at the subordinate level emerged: Attractive appearance, social activities, testimonial, fact check, and story-telling. These are the immediate goals gained through taking, using, and possessing selfies. Different goals are formed based on relatively different importance of each of the three selves. For example, to post a selfie that tells one’s feeling about new season, the photographer chooses to focus on the self as a subject who writes a story and portrays in photographing rather than the self as an object of the photograph.

Superordinate goals are derived from the subordinate goals: Narcissism, self-discovery, self-expression, reminiscence, display, self-monitoring, and belongingness. As in the relations between selves and subordinate goals, some subordinate goals are related to more than one superordinate goal. Some superordinate goals also result from more than one subordinate goal. We conclude that selfie provides augmented control in producing and using pictures and the selective operation of the three selves enables consumers to obtain various individual and social values through the selfie practice.