This paper explores the complexity of the texts women create through blogging and their inherent value. I seek to explore how the mothers who blog are constructing online identities for their family units and family members in this space and how those constructions affect and inform the mothers' construction of their personal identities online. I analyze how perceptions of gender norms and practices of gender performance may affect and inform the identities thus constructed, and further complicate the liminal nature of blogging spaces. I begin with the sociological framework of Erving Goffman, which is commonly used to deconstruct identity performance in social and digital mediums through his explanation of social performance and identity construction. After presenting the shortcomings of this framework, such as its inability to deal with the more private aspects of blogging, I introduce theories of gender performance and feminist autobiographical studies to frame a constructive discussion of the subjectivities and constructed identities within women's blog posts. I explore the role and effects of audience relationships in creating autobiographical writing. I illustrate the co-constitutive relationship between understood norms, gender norms, and genres in blogging, as well as the forms that bloggers' self-representations take. , I analyze factors that inform female authorship and how these factors are shaped by prior models of female authorship, demonstrating how the private/public paradox of blogging informs how women perceive of their audiences in a gender-conscious way, and how that in turn affects their blogging behavior. I offer suggestions for how the study questions in this thesis can inform the decisions women make when they perform their identities through disclosive blogging. I demonstrate how an increased awareness of the unique qualities and tendencies of female subjectivity can decrease women's inclination to define their experiences as an “other” to a male normative. I also show that as women highly regard their autobiographical blogging, blogging can become more effective in fulfilling the autobiographical urge and can have a democratizing effect on global dialogue about blogging.



College and Department

Fine Arts and Communications; Theatre and Media Arts



Date Submitted


Document Type





blogging, social media, identity performance, autobiography, women, audience