Digital Identity at the Margins: Social Disadvantage and the Online Self

Digital identity means identifying and being identified. For those on the socioeconomic margins, the stakes of self-identification are higher, as are the stakes of being identified through digital means. In this presentation, I draw on primary and secondary research on the digital lives of groups such as the unhoused, refugees, racial and ethnic minorities, and LGBTQ+ people to explore the two-sided coin of the digitalized self. Examples are drawn from ethnographic research with people experiencing homelessness in the US, to show how people navigate online identities balancing issues such as self-expression and privacy from the margins.


Will Marler

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Digital Humanities Tilburg