The subversive selfie: Redefining the mediated subject | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2050-0742
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0750



This article approaches the selfie debate through questioning the more simplistic view that the selfie is an effect of narcissism and consumption and instead argues that it can be a shared and transformative practice. Drawing from focus group discussions and using the critical thinking of Levinas, Foucault, Butler and Irigaray, I explore the face and the continuous formation of the subject by basing these arguments on the theoretical dismissal of the domination of a (western) autonomous subject-centred philosophy in favour of the Other, striving towards the expressions of the self as vulnerable, rather than self-absorbed. Furthermore, I discuss the selfie from a feminist viewpoint, where this type of media participation creates a potential space for an alternative female experience to emerge. I argue that the selfie opens up for an ability to mimic and play with social roles, pointing towards potential subversion through awareness and agency, rather than self-objectification. Thus, this article concludes with a recontextualization of the selfie as a sensory, communicative and political practice and experience.


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