The presentation of self in the digital age: Experiences of cyberbullying victims and perpetrators
Enkhtugs, Bilguundari. The presentation of self in the digital age: Experiences of cyberbullying victims and perpetrators; A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the ... Master of Arts in Criminal Justice, The University of Winnipeg. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: University of Winnipeg, August 2023. DOI: 10.36939/ir.202308301333.
Virtual communication has become instrumental in the digital age and it presents advantages and risks, including cyberbullying, in the lives of young people. Drawing on Goffman’s (1959) concept of the presentation of self – the study of how the self assumes different roles and behaviours depending on social circumstances – I explore how young people with the lived experiences of cyberbullying engage in the presentation of their virtual and non-virtual selves and how they cope with the consequences of cyberbullying. Using a phenomenological framework for inquiry, the results of this study derive from qualitative interviews and participant-generated visual data. The results of this study suggest that there is no binary identity of a cyber-victim or cyber-perpetrator, and participants’ chosen identity shapes their presentation of self both in virtual and non-virtual settings as a way of coping and/or maintaining their status and appearance. Cyberbullying victimization is a form of online victimization, whereby the former form of victimization can produce digital harm and social inequalities due to the lack of emotional, affective, and mental health support offered to the victims of online bullying. With the recommendations for future research, this study advocates for creating spaces to offer mental health support to young people who experience cyberbullying victimization. Contributing to the growing field of digital criminology, the results of this thesis also suggest that the experience of cyberbullying normalizes the practice of online bullying among young people and shapes their understanding of online communication, victimization, and transgression in the digital age.