I’m Going to Instagram It! An Analysis of Athlete Self-Presentation on Instagram

Lauren Reichart Smith, Jimmy Sanderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

159 Scopus citations


Using Goffman's notions of self-presentation and gender displays, the following study examines the Instagram feeds of 27 professional athletes to determine how athletes are using the visual social media site for self-presentation. A mixed methods approach examined the photographs and captions to determine what behaviors and themes emerged. Through content analysis, the self-presentation styles of athletes of both genders, as well as the main differences between them were examined, and significant differences emerged that confirmed the previously established gender norms. Through textual analysis, findings with respect to captions align with previous research on athlete self-presentation on social media. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as directions for future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-358
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2015


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