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Persona Studies. An Introduction. Edition No. 1

  • ID: 5226074
  • Book
  • May 2019
  • 272 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

The definitive and first major text on personas in contemporary culture

Modern social media and communication technologies have reshaped our identities and transformed contemporary culture, revealing an expanded and intensified reforming of our collective online behavior. Billions of people worldwide are increasingly engaged in the production, presentation, and modification of their public selves - curating personas through various social media and fundamentally altering how we interact in the twenty-first century. The study of persona is essential to understanding contemporary culture, yet literature in this emerging field is scarce. Filling a gap in current knowledge, Persona Studies: An Introduction is the first major work to examine the construction, delivery, and curation of public identities in contemporary online culture. 

This timely book helps readers navigate the changing cultural landscape while laying the groundwork for further research and application of persona studies. Three case studies are included - examining personas of the artist, gamer, and professional­ - to illustrate how personas continue to transform identity and reshape contemporary culture. From the historical precursors of the current iteration of persona to emerging configurations of public self, this unique work offers readers a broad introduction to the evolving theories and concepts of how persona defines the contemporary condition and its relation to technology and collective identity. To summarize, the book:

  • Analyzes how identities linked to data are cultivated, curated and mined for various purposes
  • Discusses the mediated blending of media and different types of interpersonal communication
  • Explores tools for the investigation and analysis of persona, including Prosopographic field studies and information visualization
  • Translates new research, concept, theories, methods, and approaches into clear case studies and applications
  • Examines the personalization of public, private, and intimate information in the building of new personas

Persona Studies: An Introduction is an innovative resource for students, academics, researchers, and professionals in fields covering digital and social media, technology and culture, mass media and communications, social and media psychology and sociology, and professional studies.

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About the Authors ix

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction: A Short History of the New Public Self 1

References 13

Part I Conceptualising Persona 15

1 Persona and Its Uses 17

Persona Studies and the Public Self 18

From Personae to Persona 20

The Premodern to the Contemporary Self 24

Applying Persona 26

Persona in Psychology 27

Persona in Literature 28

Persona in Performing Arts 29

Persona as Performance 30

Persona Through Personalization 32

References 35

2 The Contemporary Significance of Persona 39

Introduction 39

Intercommunication: The Human–Machine Interface 39

Celebrity and Surveillance 42

Intercommunication 47

Intercommunication and Affect Theory 52

Conclusion 54

References 55

3 Intercommunication and the Dimensions and Registers of Persona 59

Introduction 59

Persona as Individualized 60

Persona as Interpersonal 61

Persona as Indexical 62

Persona as Internetworked 63

Registers of Performance 65

Professional 65

Personal 66

Intimate 66

Five Dimensions of Persona 67

Public Dimension of Persona 68

Mediatized Dimension of Persona 69

Performative Dimension of Persona 69

Collective Dimension of Persona 71

The Fifth Dimension of Persona: Value, Agency, Reputation, Prestige (VARP) 72

Value 74

Agency 75

Reputation 77

Prestige 78

Conclusion 79

References 80

4 The Collective Constitution of Public Persona 87

Micro‐publics 87

Microcelebrity 90

Surveillance Capitalism and Persuasive Technologies 91

Persona as Digital Objects 94

Digital Objects, Micro‐publics, and Hyperobjects 96

Digital Object and Autosurveillance 99

Conclusion 105

References 106

Part II Researching Persona 111

5 Analyzing Contemporary Persona: Methods to Reveal the Public Version of the Self 113

Researching Ourselves: Reflexivity, Autoethnography, and First‐person Action Research 114

Interpreting the Public Self: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis 115

Personas in the Making: Second‐person Action Research 119

Reputation and Inter‐related Persona: Prosopographic Field Study 123

Networked Selves: Information Visualization and Exploration 126

Conclusion 128

References 129

6 The Artist’s Persona 133

The Artist as Subject 134

The Artist Myth 135

Romanticism and the Arts 136

Self‐presentation in the Myth of the Artist 136

Artist’s Typologies 137

Authors, Auteurs, and Makers 141

The Artist as Creative Laborer 144

Online Artistness 145

Conclusion 150

References 151

7 From Player to Persona 155

The Role of Avatars 157

From Avatar to Persona 159

The Rise and Fall of the Gamer 161

Gâmeur: From Modder to Indie Game Developer Persona 165

Public 167

Mediatized 169

Performative 170

Collective 171

Intentional Value (VARP) 172

Conclusion 174

References 175

8 The Professional Persona 179

Work, Public Identity, and the Concept of the Professional 179

Step 1: Identify Online Culture’s Destabilizing Effect on Professional Personas 183

Step 2: The Instability of Past Value and the Push to New Value 185

Step 3: Agency, Active Visibility, and the Professional Persona 189

Step 4: The Online Transformation of Professional Reputation and Prestige 197

Conclusion 201

References 201

Conclusion 205

Glossary: Key Words in Persona Studies 221

Index 245

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Christopher Moore University of Wollongong, Australia.

Kim Barbour University of Adelaide, Australia.

P. David Marshall Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia.
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