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Lena Karlsson

Lena Karlsson

Head of Department

Lena Karlsson

Desperately seeking sameness: the processes and pleasures of identification in women’s diary blog reading


  • Lena Karlsson

Summary, in English

The Internet offers a plethora of venues for autobiographical self-representation: webcams,

personal websites, blogs. There is much research on self-representation online, whereas very

little research has focused on the consumption of online self-representation. This article

focuses on the act of reading diary blogs. Who are the actual readers of a specific blog and

what values do they place on the event of reading? What draws them to the diary site in the

first place and what mechanisms make them return? To attempt to uncover the reading

practices involved for readers of diary weblogs I have conducted an explorative web survey on

“how/when/why we read weblogs” on four independent diary blog sites kept by women in

their 30s. The consumption of these blogs seem to be severely circumscribed by notions of

sameness: based on gender, age, place of living, race/ethnicity, educational level. Readers

report being drawn to the diary blog for the rhythm of serial autobiographical consumption

and the possibilities of identification. They report looking for “likeness” in the first place. The

lure of identification might always have led readers to autobiographical writing. Yet, these

diary weblog readers, who in the main self-identify as female, report feeling heightened senses

of identification by the proximity in time between the scenes of production and the scenes of

consumption and by the deferral of the notion of an ending. This article explores the discursive

connections made between the serial, the longitudinal, the consistent, and the construction

and consumption of recognizable female selves.


  • Department of Gender Studies

Publishing year







Feminist Media Studies





Document type

Journal article


Taylor & Francis


  • Gender Studies


  • online self-representation
  • reception studies
  • diary blog reading
  • identification




  • ISSN: 1471-5902