#Egyptiangirl and #Tunisiangirl: The (Micro)Politics of Self-Presentation on Instagram

Soumia Bardhan


Using Goffman’s conceptualization of self-presentation in the context of the online world as theoretical scaffolding, I explore the political potential of women’s self-presentation through Instagram in post–Arab Spring countries. I draw on the accounts of 10 young women Instagrammers from Egypt and Tunisia. In this essay, political potential is understood as everyday activism. The analysis shows that the Instagrammers’ online self-presentation manifests (1) liberal-individualist citizenship and (2) rooted cosmopolitanism. This work is critical in assessing the role of Instagram in creating new political realities and identities for young women in contemporary Egypt and Tunisia, two countries that were on different sociopolitical trajectories for several years post–Arab Spring.


Instagram, self-presentation/identity, Goffman, micropolitics, Middle Eastern women

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