The Phenomena of the 21st Century Image: Instagram Iconography as an Extension of the Dominant Ideological Order

Ana Vukčević

Abstract


In the digital and information society in which we live right now, image has the special status of one of the most attractive ways to communicate with others, transmit meaning and define one’s identity. Following Manovich’s theoretical concepts of Instagram class and Instagramism, I analyze the image shared via this platform in order to understand how it corresponds with current social and ideological paradigms. My premise is that Instagram image and its meaning and semantic structure are highly determined by dominant neoliberal and capitalist norms and values, class differences and power relations. It is formed by unwritten social codes that give visibility only to certain lifestyles, choices and preferences that reflect westernized upper classes. These social codes, along with aesthetic norms that make up what Instagramism is, deny adequate representations to marginalized groups and classes whose identity cannot fit into this cultural prototype. Therefore, Instagram as a platform and image that it produces are dominantly elitist and pro-capitalist by their very nature.

 

Article received: April 25, 2020; Article accepted: June 6, 2020; Published online: October 15, 2020; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Vukčević, Ana. "The Phenomena of the 21st Century Image: Instagram Iconography as an Extension of the Dominant Ideological Order." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 23 (2020): 159-167. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i23.404


Keywords


social media; image; Instagram; semiotics; myth; technology; culture; social class; ideology; capitalism; neoliberalism; power relations.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Althusser, Louis. On the Reproduction of Capitalism: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses. London: Verso Books, 2014.

Baudrillard, Jean. Simulacra and Simulation. Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 1994.

Barthes, Roland. Mythologies. New York: Vintage, 1993.

Bourdieu, Pierre. Photography: A Middle-Brow Art. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996.

Chua, Patrick Ryan E. “Instagram: The Myth Making Platform.” Bachelor dissertation, University of the Philippines Diliman, 2019. https://iskwiki.upd.edu.ph/flipbook/viewer/?fb=2015-07816-Chua,-Pa#page-1. Accessed on June 10, 2010.

Chun, Wendy Hui Kyong. Programmed Visions: Software and Memory. London: MIT Press, 2011.

Herman, L. Jenny. “#EatingForTheInsta: A Semiotic Analysis of Digital Representations of Food on Instagram.” Graduate Association for Food Studies. November 11, 2017. https://gradfoodstudies.org/2017/11/11/eating-for-the-insta/. Accessed on June 10, 2020.

Hu, Yuheng, Manikonda, Lydia and Kambhampati, Subbarao. “What We Instagram: A First Analysis of Instagram Photo Content and User Types.” in Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media, ICWSM, edited by Eytan Adar and Paul Resnick, 595-598. Palo Alto, California: AAAI press, 2014

Manovich, Lev. Instagram and Contemporary Image. http://manovich.net/content/04-projects/152-instagram-and-contemporary-image/instagram_book_manovich_2017.pdf. Accessed on March 4, 2020.

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extension of Man. ‎New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.

Lovink, Greet. 2016. “On Social Media Ideology.” E-flux, September 2016. https://www.e-flux.com/journal/75/67166/on-the-social-media-ideology/. Accessed on June 13, 2020.

Poulsen, Søren Vigild, Gunhild Kvåle, and Theo Van Leeuwen. “Special issue: Social media as semiotic technology.” Social Semiotics 28 (2018): 593. doi: 10.1080/10350330.2018.1509815

Subramanian, Kalpathy Ramaiyer. “Myth and the Mystery of Shrinking Attention Span.” International Journal of Trend in Research and Development 5 (2018): 1.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i23.404

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2020 AM Journal of Art and Media Studies

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

The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774

Contact: amjournal@outlook.com

Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

Indexed in: ERIH PLUSEBSCODOAJ, and in The List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia (M51-2019). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.