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The Citizen Marketer$
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Joel Penney

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190658052

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190658052.001.0001

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Self-Labeled and Visible Identities

Self-Labeled and Visible Identities

(p.67) 3 Self-Labeled and Visible Identities
The Citizen Marketer

Joel Penney

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the identity politics of social movements and uses the case study of gay and lesbian activism to examine how citizen media participation is mobilized in strategic projects of public visibility. It charts how citizens use mediated acts of self-labeling, such as changing profile pictures on social media, to announce the presence of their identities and attempt to influence perceptions of social and political reality. This model of “coming out” may have particular resonance for the LGBT community that has long sought to end its historical invisibility, yet it has also been adopted by a wide range of constituencies who seek to challenge notions of who “the people” truly are. Public visibility campaigns may also contribute to a flattening of differences as social identities become branded with a homogenized set of symbolic artifacts, suggesting the potential limits of visibility as a strategy for inducing social and political change.

Keywords:   social media, profile pictures, Facebook, activism, identity politics, social movements, LGBT, gay and lesbian, media visibility, gay visibility

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