Teachers as Digital Influencers: Mapping the Construction and Perception of Brand Identities on Instagram.

Hassan Nejadghanbar, Mahsa Fotouhi

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review

Abstract

While teachers’ use of technologies such as Instagram to create, commodify, and possibly profit from online presence is increasingly popular, research on teachers’ social media use is scarce. Accordingly, this study aimed to achieve two primary objectives: 1) Investigating the construction of brand identities by teachers on Instagram and the underlying motivations behind them. 2) Examining the perspectives of their followers in relation to the projected identities of these teachers. To accomplish this, the study utilized narrative frames and in-depth semi-structured interviews involving six Iranian English teachers, along with three followers for each teacher. The participants were provided with narrative frames designed to investigate their brand identity construction and the motivations driving this process. Additionally, the narrative frames prompted the teachers to list the adjectives that they believed captured the essence of the identities they sought to construct on their Instagram pages. Subsequently, we conducted interviews to delve deeper into the teachers' experiences and aspirations regarding their brand identities. Next, following the same procedure, data from three followers per teacher were collected using narrative frames and interviews to examine their perceptions and types of identities attributed to the teachers. Based on the thematic analysis of the data, the researchers observed that the type of identities teachers aim to establish and are perceived by (i.e., what their followers took notice of ) on social media fall into three main categories: Role model self (characteristics and activities which consider teachers as contributing factors in making positive alterations to the society), professional self (characteristics and activities which consider teachers as knowledgeable and aware of teaching techniques), and influencer self (characteristics and activities teachers apply to reach numerous audiences, gain publicity and make profit). This study has important implications for language teacher education and research.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusNot published / presented only - 2024
EventThe 20th TELLSI & 7th ATU ELT Conference in One Frame: ELT Teacher Education in the Spotlight -
Duration: 1 Feb 2024 → …

Competition

CompetitionThe 20th TELLSI & 7th ATU ELT Conference in One Frame: ELT Teacher Education in the Spotlight
Period1/02/24 → …

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