Digital Scrapbooks, everyday aesthetics and the curatorial self: Social photography in female visual blogging

Sumin Zhao, Michele Zappavigna

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Female users—adolescents, young women, mothers, (micro) celebrities—have a strong presence on visual social media such as Instagram, and visual content curation sites such as Pinterest and Tumblr (Statista, 2017). Seven out of the ten most followed accounts on Instagram, for instance, belong to female celebrities (Statista, 2018) and the heaviest users of Pinterest are female users between 25–40 (Chang, Tang, Inagaki, & Liu, 2014). Female visual posting and blogging practices, in particular selfies, have attracted much scholarly attention as they provide an important site for investigating gender identities (Aguayo & Calvert, 2013) and power relations (Coladonato, 2014), youth (Fardouly, Willburger, & Vartanian, 2017) and celebrity culture (Pham, 2015; Abidin, 2016), motherhood (Zappavigna, 2016; Zappavigna & Zhao, 2017), consumerism (Pham, 2015), and other prevailing social issues. Existing research, with analysis grounded in the unique techno, social, and cultural context of our time, can be said to take predominantly a synchronic perspective on female visual practices on social media. In this chapter, we offer a different reading by applying a diachronic perspective, which draws parallels between social media practices and the historical practices of ‘scrapbooking’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultimodality and Aesthetics
EditorsElise Seip Tønnessen, Frida Forsgren
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781315102665
ISBN (Print)9781138103511
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Multimodality


  • selfies
  • social semiotics
  • aesthetics
  • social photography
  • Tumblr


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