Identity Construction on Facebook: The Case of ABES Students

Mee Jay Agustin Domingo


Identity construction is a derivation from perceptions of others and oneself. The language and actuations of people form parts of the identity that they project (self-identity) and are constructed by others (social identity). This study aimed to provide a perspective on the creation of social identity on Facebook through the language codes used and topics discussed in the respondents’ Facebook newsfeeds. The researcher collected a total of 250 messages from the respondents’ accounts. A thematic analysis was carried out to highlight the identities projected by the respondents. Overall, seven social identities of the respondents emerged in the analyses. These are linguistic competence in L2, ability to fit in, patriotic sense, sense of openness, expressiveness, socialness, and religiosity.


: identity representation; Facebook; identity projection; social identity


Adegoke, A. (2011). Language and identity representation in popular music. International Journal of Innovative Interdisciplinary Research, 1(1), 150–164.

Androutsopoulos, J. & Georgakopoulou, A. (Eds.). (2003). Discourse Constructions of Youth Identities (Pragmatics and Beyond New Se-ries). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Barker, C. (2003). Cultural studies: Theory and practice. London: Sage Publications.

Bautista, M.L.S. (2004). Tagalog-English code- switching as a mode of discourse. Asia Pacific Education Review, 5, 226–233.

Braun, V. & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 77–101.

CEMANES. (2010). The most distinctive characteristics of Filipinos. Retrieved from http:// society/ themost- distinctive- characteristics- offilipinos/.

DePew, K.E. & Miller-Cochran, S.K. (2010). Social networking in a second language: Engaging multiple literate practices through identity composition. In M. Cox, J. Jordan, C. Ortmeier-Hooper, & G. Shwartz (Eds.), Reinventing identities in second language writing (pp. 273–295). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

Domingo, M.A. (2013). Proceedings from FLC 2013: International Free Linguistics Conference. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Durano, F. (2009). Attitudes towards English and Fil- English code-switching amongst high school students in Ormoc City, Philippines. Retrieved from http:// dspace. mah. se/ bitstream/ handle/ 2043/ 9650/ Filipino- English .pdf.

Eckert, P. (1997). Language variation as social practice: The linguistic construction of identity in Belten High. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Flash Eurobarometer. (2011). User language preferences online. Analytical Report. Retrieved from http: // ec.europa. eu/ public opinion/flash/ fl 313 en. pdf.

Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma: Notes on the management of spoiled identity. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Gross, S. (2006). Code-switching. In the Encyclopedia of language and linguistics (p. 508-511).Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Guaman, V. (2012). EFL Teenagers’ social identity representation in a virtual learning community on Facebook. Profile Issues in Teachers’ Professional Development, 14(2), 181 –194.

Gumperz, J.J. (1982). Conversational code-switching. In Gumperz, J.J. (ed.), Discourse Strategies, 198. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gong, T., Shuai, L., & Liu, J. (2013).

Construction of cross-cultural identity by language choice and linguistic practice: A case-study of mixed Hong Kong-mainland identity in university contexts. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 3 (3), 208-215.

Hisona, H. (n.d.). The Philippines and some Filipino characteristic. Retrieved from http : / / ezinearticles. com/ ?The –Philippines –and – Some -

Filipino-Characteristics & id = 4892337

Itkonen, R. (2009). The representation of marginalized identities through language use. Candidate’s Thesis. Finland: Jyvaskyla.

Jakobson, R. (1960). The functions of language. Retrieved from https:// www. google. com. ph/ url? sa= t & rct = j & q = & esrc = s & source = web & cd = 1 & cad = rja & uact = 8 & ved = 0CCgQFjAA & url = http %3A %2F

Klix, K. (2009). Students display little knowledge on current events. Retrieved from http://www .cardinalpointsonline. com/ news/ students - display - little -knowledge - in - current - events - 1. 1719389? pagereq =2. U3MtfYGSyXY.

Knobel, M. & Lankshear, C. (2008). Digital literacy and participation in online social networking spaces. In C. Lankshear & M. Knobel (Eds.), Digital literacies:

Concepts, policies and practices (pp. 249–278). New York: Peter Lang.

Lam, W. (2004). Second language socialization in a bilingual chat room: Global and local considerations. Language Learning & Technology, 8(3), 44–65. Retrieved from http://llt. msu. edu/ vol8num3/ lam/ default.html

Nir, C. (2012). Identity construction on Facebook. Undergraduate Thesis. Institute of Arts, Design and Technology. Retrieved from https:// www. academia. edu/ 1878518/ Identity Construction on Facebook

Palloff, R. & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities: Effective strategies for the virtual classroom (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Romaine, S. (1984). The language of children and adolescents: Acquisition of communicative competence. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

Spolsky, B. (1999). Second-language learning. In J. Fishman (Ed.), Handbook of language and ethnic identity (pp. 181-192). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Full Text: JST_2017 04


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.