University of Oulu

Examining virtual identities in social network communities : identity re-construction to achieve self-congruency

Saved in:
Author: Hu, Chuan1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Pages: 46
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : C. Hu, 2014
Publish Date: 2015-04-10
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Zhao, Li
Reviewer: Vartiainen, Tero
Zhao, Li


Many studies have investigated social networks. So far little work has been done to explore the virtual identity construction in social network communities. The virtual identity that an individual constructed in the social network community may not be exactly same as his/her identity in the physical world. Using self-discrepancy theory and social capital theory as theoretical foundations, this paper reports a qualitative study by interviewing members of communities (or large groups) on one of the largest social network platforms in the world: QQ. The results of this study suggest that some people do indeed construct a virtual identity different from their identity in the physical world. Findings from this study reveal the complexity of virtual identity re-construction and people’s motivations to do so in social network communities. Theoretical contributions and implications for practice are described.

see all

Copyright information: © Chuan Hu, 2014. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.