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From liberation to control: understanding the selfie experience

Richard Kedzior (School of Management, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA)
Douglas E. Allen (School of Management, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 12 September 2016




This paper aims to serve as an integrative literature review that organizes the burgeoning literature and findings related to possible impacts of the selfie phenomenon on consumers.


This is a conceptual paper.


The current empirical scholarly work supports two conflicting perspectives on the impact of selfies: the selfie experience as a source of empowerment and the selfie as embodiment of societal control and expression of existing power-relations. While the two perspectives are seemingly discordant, in fact, they pertain to different levels of analysis – individual and social, respectively.


While the empowerment aspect of the selfie experience has been well-documented in existing literature, the mechanisms of control and disempowerment have remained underconceptualized. This research paper offers a framework which addresses this omission and theorizes ways in which the selfie phenomenon perpetuates societal control and maintains power-relations.



Kedzior, R. and Allen, D.E. (2016), "From liberation to control: understanding the selfie experience", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 50 No. 9/10, pp. 1893-1902.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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