More Than Just a Pretty Profile: Exploring the social norms and technical affordances that shape and mediate identity performance on Tinder
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With Tinder as a primary case study, this thesis explores the manner in which young users of dating media perform identity within the confines of the interface at hand. This investigation requires the consideration of two salient factors: firstly, the social norms Tinder users are likely to abide by when performing identity on the platform; and secondly, the limitations and affordances inherent to the technology, which shape the user experience and by extension, the nature of user of identity. Having considered such factors, the final chapter of this thesis presents five forms of identity performance practices relevant to the young users of dating media like Tinder (subversion, adherence, discrepancy, obfuscation, equivocation). These practices serve as a framework against which actual Tinder profiles collected from Munich and Melbourne are analysed and determined to represent the presence of identity diffusion amongst Tinder users, as well as a subversion of the ostensible intended use of the interface or a mimicry of user profiles standard to other forms of online dating media.