On Display: Instagram, the Self, and the City

Book presentation

Research Area: Society and Culture

19.06.2024 - 3.30-5.30pm CEST

Justus Uitermark is Professor of Urban Geography and the Academic Director of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam. He will be presenting his book "On Display: Instagram, the Self, and the City", which he wrote in collaboration with John D. Boy (Leiden University).

On Display is a book about how people remake their worlds through social media. John D. Boy and Justus Uitermark provide an encompassing account of how a platform that is unfailingly polished and ruthlessly judgmental shapes us and our environments. They examine how personalities, relations, social movements, urban subcultures, and city streets change as they are represented on Instagram. Interviews and ethnographic vignettes render an intimate account of the desires and anxieties that animate the platform. Just as importantly, Boy and Uitermark reveal how Instagram is implicated in social inequalities.

Drawing on sociological theory, long-term qualitative inquiry in Amsterdam, and computational analyses, Boy and Uitermark argue that grasping the power of Instagram—and other social media platforms—requires seeing them not as digital networks of communication and sharing, but as a stage for the expression and affirmation of social status.

Discussants: Jan Üblacker (EBZ Business School) and Sharon Zukin (City University of New York)

After the presentation there will also be time for a Q&A.

This will be an online event using the zoom platform. Please note it will be recorded.