Negotiating Privacy Through Phatic Communication. A Case Study of the Blogging Self

Philosophy and Technology 25 (3):415-434 (2012)
The article provides an instructive in-depth analysis of communicative practices in the personal blog. Its aim is to document the discursive dynamics and interactional ethics of blogging, with a specific focus on negotiations of the blogging self in-between public and private. Based on key findings from an empirical case study of personal blogs, the article addresses the negotiation of the blogging self from three interdependent perspectives: the network structures, patterns of interaction, and thematic orientations of the blog. Instead of approaching the online self as the individual blogger’s self-presentation to an often unknown and unfamiliar audience, I analyse and discuss the ‘blogging self’ as a relational and collaborative accomplishment, as something that is constantly subject to negotiation between author and readers, and is framed by the blog as a communicative genre. The theoretical foundation for this relational approach to the self is inspired by the work of sociologist Georg Simmel on how individuals attune to their networks of affiliation in a process of socialisation (Simmel 1955). The article contributes to the discussion of ethical behaviour and privacy protection in social media by highlighting the role of phatic communication in the blog. Specifically, I demonstrate how participants in the blog network negotiate and maintain an ethos of privacy protection in and through practices associated with the phatic. They do this by adhering to a ‘principle of sociability’, allowing them to experience their communication as personal but not private.
Keywords Negotiated selves  Blogging  Network  Ethos of privacy  Phatic communication  Principle of sociability  Simmel
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0018-7
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
May Thorseth (2008). Reflective Judgment and Enlarged Thinking Online. Ethics and Information Technology 10 (4):221-231.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Gloria González Fuster (2010). Inaccuracy as a Privacy-Enhancing Tool. Ethics and Information Technology 12 (1):87-95.
José Angel García Landa (2008). Blogs and the Narrativity of Experience. Information Systems: Behavioral and Social Methods Working Papers Series 2 (6).
Jacques Penders (2004). Privacy in (Mobile) Telecommunications Services. Ethics and Information Technology 6 (4):247-260.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

29 ( #164,667 of 1,908,158 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #452,278 of 1,908,158 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.