Exploring visual communication and competencies through interaction with images in social media

Matilda Ståhl, Hannah Kaihovirta

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

17 Citeringar (Scopus)
51 Nedladdningar (Pure)


The students of today are surrounded by visual information, online as well as ofVine. This study examines visual communication and active competencies when interacting with longer-lasting images in social media. Focusing on one focus student in upper secondary school in Finland, the ethnographic data consist of 41 images that the focus student interacted with, by liking or shar- ing, on Tumblr and Instagram during school time. The data are collected during 3 5 consecutive days once a year during the focus students three years in upper secondary school. Three inter- views function as secondary data.

Drawing on visual ethnography and 'different levels of messages in visual material, the analy- sis shows that the focus student interacts with images in a way that communicates the kind of persona the focus student wishes to convey in social media. Thus, the Undings indicate that four competencies are active while interacting with images in social media: visual competency; tech- nical competency; knowledge of social norms; and knowledge of self. Therefore, we claim that there are active competencies when interacting with images on social media and that this should be considered in the educational discourse on youth as media users.

Sidor (från-till)250–266
TidskriftLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
StatusPublicerad - 2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • competencies
  • Visual communication
  • Identity Construction
  • Visuality
  • Visual ethnography

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