0120150629It's two years since the Oxford English Dictionary made 'selfie' its word of the year. Since then, 'selfie' has been used to describe the 'selfie generation' and recently, the 'selfie election'. Aimee Fuller is a 23 year old snowboarder who competed at last year's Winter Olympics - she explores the selfie phenomenon and asks whether it really defines her generation. Aimee explains how social media is part and parcel of what she does as an athlete, helping her to communicate with her fans - and the selfie is an important element of that.
The programme explores the broader significance of the selfie as a form of photography. What sort of a photograph is the selfie and what do photographers make of it? Katrina Sluis from the Photographers Gallery in London puts it into the context of self portraits.
Why have younger people taken to the selfie with such enthusiasm and what does that tell us about their social attitudes? Economist writer, Jeremy Cliffe explains how the selfie generation use social media and why.
Producer: Philip Reevell
A Manchester Digital Media production for BBC Radio 4.
0220150630Snowboarder Aimee Fuller presents the second part of her series exploring the significance of the selfie.
In today's programme, 19 year old singer songwriter Nina Nesbitt talks about her song 'Selfies'. Nina has used social media to communicate with her fans since she was 15 and explains how it has helped her develop her career. She wrote the song to explain why people take selfies in their relationships and the image that they want to present about themselves. She discusses why people want to take the best picture of themselves in a selfie
Katrina Sluis from the Photographers Gallery discusses the selfie as a cultural form of photography and explains how photographers are interested in it as a new form, using networks like Instagram.
David Houghton, a lecturer at Birmingham University Business School, specialises in research into online relationship development. He explains how the selfie is received in different ways by different groups on social networks. He says this means people undertake 'impression management' to convey an impression to groups on their network.
The criticism by musician Damon Albarn of the young generation of musicians for being self absorbed as 'the selfie generation' is questioned by Economist writer Jeremy Cliffe who says, although it is a self centred activity, it is also a social activity. He says it channels instincts through a new form of technology.
Producer: Philip Reevell
A Manchester Digital Media production for BBC Radio 4.
0320150701What's it like to be on the receiving end of a 'selfie' photograph taken by a fan? Snowboarder Aimee Fuller continues her exploration of the selfie phenomenon.
In this third episode, Aimee starts at an event promoting the This Girl Can sporting campaign to encourage girls to take part in sports. She meets her fans and takes selfies with them before explaining how it feels to be on the receiving end of a selfie. She explains why she likes them - and how instant communication using social media makes it possible for her to stay in touch with her fans in a way that was not possible before.
David Houghton, a lecturer at the Birmingham University Business School, explains how brands have linked the way people interact on social media and with branded content. He explains how a brand and a selfie can overlap.
Katrina Sluis at the Photographers Gallery discusses how young bloggers become brand ambassadors.
Producer: Philip Reevell
A Manchester Digital Media production for BBC Radio 4.
0420150702The recent election was dubbed the 'selfie election'. In the fourth part of her series on selfies, snowboarder Aimee Fuller explores why politicians embraced this new way to meet the voters - from the phenomenon called Millifandom to David Cameron using a selfie stick to take a picture at Pirate FM.
The Economist writer Jeremy Cliffe tells of his experience covering the election and seeing selfies being taken everywhere - but, when he asked those taking them if it would change the way they vote, they tended to say it wouldn't. He explores what role the selfie played, and why politicians embraced it.
Jeremy also discusses the social attitudes of the selfie generation of young people. He says as work has become more insecure and self employment has risen, the autonomy of creating a personal image and brand through selfies and social media is in keeping with the attitudes of this generation. There has also been a decline in the appeal of big monolithic organisations, so young people are less likely to get behind a big political party to declare who they are.
He argues that this generation is more individualistic and more at home with building an identity online.
Katrina Sluis of the Photographers Gallery says selfies are part of the process of breaking down barriers between the private and public life, and this also affects institutions.
Producer: Philip Reevell
A Manchester Digital Media production for BBC Radio 4.
In the final part of her exploration of the selfie phenomenon, snowboarder Aimee Fuller describes how she will be using social media as she sets out to compete for a place at the next Winter Olympics. As she looks ahead, she also considers what she will share with fans - and what she would like to keep to herself.
Birmingham University Business School lecturer David Houghton explains how photographs of the self are viewed when posted frequently and how attitudes change depending on what is posted and how often. He explains the role of narcissism in social media and the difference between 'look at me' selfies and photos taken at tourist locations to explain where people are.
Nina Nesbitt is a singer-songwriter who uses social media to connect with her fans, including via a live video stream, and appreciates the way she gets feedback and encouragement from fans. She talks with her fans on Twitter most days and says it helps her when she is recording.
Aimee explains her views on what should be posted online - she posts in order to convey herself - and how there is a difference between 'social media Aimee' and her ordinary, day-to-day life. She talks about the people who criticise photographs taken and the drawbacks of social media.
Producer: Philip Reevell
A Manchester Digital Media production for BBC Radio 4.



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