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Living the Good Life on Instagram. An exploration of lay understandings of what it means to live well.

Loukianov, Anastasia, Burningham, Kate and Jackson, Tim (2019) Living the Good Life on Instagram. An exploration of lay understandings of what it means to live well. Journal of Consumer Ethics.

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Abstract

While the consumerist approach to what living well can mean permeates traditional media, the extent to which it appears in people’s own depictions of the good life is unclear. As the unsustainability of the consumerist approach is increasingly evidenced, both in terms of environmental and social impacts, looking into which understandings of the good life resonate with people becomes essential. This article uses a sample of posts tagged #goodlife and variants originally collected in 2014-2015 on Instagram (a popular image sharing platform) to explore which understandings of the good life can be found on the platform.

Using multimodal discourse analysis, it highlights two different user generated understandings of the good life: ‘working on future goals’ and ‘appreciating the present moment’. We argue that neither approach is directly or necessarily congruent with the traditional consumer good life. Yet their shared photographic codes with advertisements can contribute to their framing into the consumer good life.

Additionally, the temporalities afforded by the platform and currently in place through social conventions may affect the type of narratives that are mediated. While the understandings derived from the analysis are not straightforward reflections of people’s beliefs about the meaning of the good life, they constitute conversations that at once inform, and are informed by, users’ beliefs about living well. The popularity of the platform makes these conversations crucial for anyone interested in desired lifestyles and their sustainability.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Loukianov, Anastasiaa.loukianov@surrey.ac.uk
Burningham, KateK.Burningham@surrey.ac.uk
Jackson, TimT.Jackson@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 2019
Copyright Disclaimer : This is an Open Access article distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0).
Uncontrolled Keywords : Good life; Multimodality; Consumerism; Sustainable wellbeing; Instagram
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 29 Aug 2019 10:19
Last Modified : 29 Aug 2019 10:19
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/852498

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