How do adolescents present themselves on Instagram and Snapchat through photos, videos, and text elements? What influence do personal and social norms have on their visual self-presentation? And which reference groups are relevant for adolescents in negotiating these norms? These questions are at the heart of the joint research project with LMU Munich, which is funded by the DFG for 36 months. For this purpose, a qualitative network analysis, a representative survey, and an experimental study with adolescents between the ages of 14 and 16 are being conducted.
The subprojects based at the Film University analyze the interplay and change of social and personal norms of visual self-representation and different types of self-representative action. A standardized, representative survey of students investigates how norms influence adolescents' self-representational actions on Instagram and Snapchat, how self-representational actions and norms change in the course of their identity development, and what influence the platform-specific infrastructure has on this. In the adolescent phase, various role-specific selves crystallize that adolescents can portray on social media platforms. These enable them to experiment with their own identity. To examine the effect of norms on the representation of these different facets of the self, an experimental impact study will be conducted with school students. In this way, the positive and negative consequences of norms in the identity construction of adolescents will be systematically recorded.
The results of the research project will be made available to the professional public through conference presentations and publications in professional journals. Key findings will also be communicated to adolescents, teachers, and parents in workshops.