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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2013
Thesis number: 13306
Identity projects of design professionals - Identity construction using social media
Author: Jukuri, Kimmo
Title: Identity projects of design professionals - Identity construction using social media
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; kulutus; consumption; kuluttajat; consumers; kuluttajakäyttäytyminen; consumer behaviour; identiteetti; identity; projektit; projects; konflikti; conflicts; sosiaalinen media; social media; design management; design management
Pages: 76
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13306.pdf pdf  size:879 KB (899799)
Key terms: Consumption and identity, Identity project, Identity conflict, Social media
Objective of the study

The aim of this study is to research how a group of design professionals construct and evaluate their identity projects and what kinds of processes are involved in their identity work. This study also looks at how possible identity conflicts are resolved and what kind of roles does social media play as a part of these processes.

Research method

This research is qualitative and interpretive in nature. Transcripts of 8 semi-structured interviews were used as data for this research. All interviewees were currently working or had worked within design. The interview transcripts were analysed using hermeneutic logic starting from categorizing emerging overall themes, and moving on to careful analysis of parts of the text. Through a series of part-to-whole iterations, a deep understanding of the text and it themes was sought. As a result of my analysis I found two major identity conflict themes that I used as a central structure for my findings.


Although identity projects can emerge in a variety of ways there are similarities in what kinds of meanings are attached to being a design professional. The identity seems to be socially constructed as most informants narrated it as belonging or alternatively distancing themselves from a social group. Being a design professional seems to be a very conflicted identity project with a constant struggle of staying creative but simultaneously succumbing and fulfilling the very different busi-ness needs. This showed as integrity and efficacy concerns. Social media and other digital sources help designers speed up the exploration phase of design and enable them to find inspiration faster or even store it in the forms of pictures and texts on their social media profiles.

The other major conflict had to do with social categorisation and belonging to the design commu-nity, but distancing yourself enough as to stay individual and maintain your own unique perspec-tive. This entailed using different types of social media services for different parts of the identity such as separating your professional and personal identities with the use of different social media profiles. This also meant constant editing of the profiles so that they stay appropriate to their audi-ence.
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