People increasingly log on to Social Networking Websites to remain updated with the latest News and to share their thoughts and their significant life events. Their perception of their own and others’ identities influences their self-presentation on social media. There is a mental image of the audience on the mind of online users when they share content. The extent to which individuals reveal or conceal aspects of their identities within a socio-cultural context affects the presentation of their digital gender identity. We have explored Internet accessibility and use of social media relating to adult users for both Iranians living in the country that are experiencing filtered social media and those living outside of the country. The identified influential elements through conducting this in-depth research was an attempt to address the gap in online identity formation in the Iranian context. This qualitative case study examined online interviews (N=9) and follow-up Facebook observations (N=10) from ten Iranian male and female Facebook users. A relationship was found between the specific identity-presentation and the individuals’ gender and their level of conservatism. Regardless of the socio-cultural conservatism, individuals make themselves known via the manipulated digital images and Facebook avatars.


Digital Self-Presentation, Gender Identity, Online Education, Social Conservatism

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Nastaran Khoshsabk is a Teaching Associate, Faculty of Education and a Learning Skills Adviser, Library, Monash University, Australia. Her research is on the imagined identities of adult social media users through their language use and representation of self. She used to work as an ELICOS Teacher at Monash College, English Language Centre and Hawthorn English, Melbourne University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: n_khoshsabk@yahoo.com.

Dr. Jane Southcott is an Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Australia. As a phenomenologist, Jane researches education, cultural identities and hybridity, and community engagement with the arts focusing on positive ageing. She is Immediate Past President of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Research in Music Education and on the editorial boards of international refereed journals. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: jane.southcott@monash.edu.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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