Gender identity and Facebook: social conservatism and saving face

Nastaran Khoshsabk, Jane Southcott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


People increasingly log on to Social Networking Websites to remain updated with the latest News and to share their thoughts and their significant life events. Their perception of their own and others’ identities influences their self-presentation on social media. There is a mental image of the audience on the mind of online users when they share content. The extent to which individuals reveal or conceal aspects of their identities within a socio-cultural context affects the presentation of their digital gender identity. We have explored Internet accessibility and use of social media relating to adult users for both Iranians living in the country that are experiencing filtered social media and those living outside of the country. The identified influential elements through conducting this in-depth research was an attempt to address the gap in online identity formation in the Iranian context. This qualitative case study examined online interviews (N=9) and follow-up Facebook observations (N=10) from ten Iranian male and female Facebook users. A relationship was found between the specific identity-presentation and the individuals’ gender and their level of conservatism. Regardless of the socio-cultural conservatism, individuals make themselves known via the manipulated digital images and Facebook avatars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-647
Number of pages16
JournalThe Qualitative Report
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • digital self-preservation
  • gender identity
  • online education
  • social conservatism

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