Contemporary culture finds human experience spread across various digital and physical spaces. Although many scholars embrace derivative perspectives of a distributed self—dramaturgical, multiphrenic, networked—these notions are seldom engaged as empirically testable theories. This article proposes a theoretical model to foster such empirical examination, in which the “self” is not engaged as a node in broader social networks, but taken as a network itself. That is, the self is reframed as a subjectively experienced network of identities that are, themselves, complex assemblages of many different kinds of objects. In this way, the binaries of me/not-me, human/nonhuman, material/immaterial, and digital/physical are unraveled in favor of more precisely identified interrelated agents giving rise to the Self across digital and physical contexts.
- networked self