Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Neuendorf, Kimberly

Subject Headings

MySpace (Firm), Online identities, Online social networks, Social networks -- Computer network resources, Self-presentation, Social network websites, MySpace, Nonverbal behaviors, Photographs


Social network sites like MySpace and Facebook are a popular online venue for interaction and expression. This study was designed to identify the ways in which people present themselves online in the social network environment of To examine the types of self-presentation displayed in MySpace profiles, this study drew from current online research, self-presentation theory (Goffman, 1959 Jones, 1990), nonverbal traditions, and the field of visual communication to develop a novel measurement scheme which could be used to analyze photographic and textual elements. Content analysis of a random sample of public profiles selected from focused primarily on the photographic self-presentation found in the primary profile photograph. The content analysis revealed that competence and ingratiation were the most commonly used strategies exhibited in the sampled profiles. Additionally, significant relationships were found between intimidating behaviors and the intended audience, and intimidating behaviors and the user's sex. Demographic information revealed that males and females were equally represented in the sample, and racial/ethnic diversity closely resembled the U.S. population as reported in the 2000 U.S. Census. Furthermore, non-significant results suggest a possible relationship between the user's sex and the types of nonverbal behaviors demonstrated in the photograph, similar to Goffman's (1979) work on gender displays in commercial advertising photography

Included in

Communication Commons