Social Media Centrality in Identity (Re)construction in Higher Education


  • Maria José Sá CIPES – Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies, Portugal
  • Sandro Serpa Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, University of The Azores, Portugal
  • Carlos Miguel Ferreira Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences – CICS.NOVA; ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal
  • Ana Isabel Santos Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of The Azores; Interdisciplinary Centre for Childhood and Adolescence –NICA –Uac, Portugal



Social media, including digital social networks, runs through a large part of society. This position paper analyses the social media centrality in identity (re)construction in higher education, seeking to add to the understanding of the social media’s role in the identity, both in the individual dimension – of several higher education actors (academics and students) – and in the identity of higher education institutions. In methodological terms, a selection and review of publications addressing this topic were conducted. Results allow concluding that it is critical to consider the growing relevance of digital social networks in shaping these actors’ identity, without disregarding the individual situations of great limitation or even rejection by the presence of digital social networks in identity (re)construction. Regarding the implications, at the theoretical level and according to the existing corpus of knowledge, there is a need for further studies to deepen the understanding of this topic. As a practical implication, while the presence of digital social media in human relationships is unavoidable in many instances, the intentional and relevant mobilization of these digital social media is crucial, both for higher effectiveness and efficacy of the academic-student interaction and for the dissemination and positive image of higher education institutions and academics.


Download data is not yet available.




How to Cite

Social Media Centrality in Identity (Re)construction in Higher Education. (2020). Journal of Educational and Social Research, 10(1), 11.