Part of the Volume on Youth, Identity, and Digital Media
This chapter examines identity within the context of online consumer cultures. The focus is on cultures that involve young people contributing to online media, through written text, images, and music. The chapter explores the tension that underlies many debates about young people's online activities, between seeing young people as acted upon by societal forces (structures) and seeing them as independent actors in their own right (as having agency). The aim of this chapter is to look past a structure-agency dichotomy, and to see how social structure and human agency act through each other. The chapter discusses research on young people as consumers and theories of identity as related to online consumer culture, and then relates this research to a study of girls' online activities, looking specifically at interactive fashion design Web pages.