Methodological research of real and virtual identity

Marijana Markovikj, Eleonora Serafimovska


This paper is focused on the differences and similarities of research methods about appearance and manifestation of identity in real and virtual phenomenological field. In online analyses, methodological hybrids have been usually used. Online analyze of behavior is mixture of many research methods, for example: ethnography, autobiography, message analysis, picture virtual behavior etc. In offline analysis of the online activities, researchers are exploring the relation between cyberspace appearance, activity and real life appearance and behavior usually using traditional offline methods. The mainly common explanation of the identity is that, identity at the same time mean sameness of self in time and space and difference with others. It is usually seen as a collection of roles which one plays according to “scene”, but in every role there is awareness about the sameness of the self. Identity in virtual environment can be seen as one role among others who are played in the real world. Every person who establishes a communication in virtual and social environments owns a virtual identity. Virtual Identity is the manifestation of one’s self in the digital world of e-commerce, e-mail, social networking, and virtual worlds. Identity in digital age is no longer tied to static, physical anchors, such as driver’s licenses or passports. The main question whish this paper will try to answer is: can we apply classical methodology approaches, procedures and techniques used for exploration of identity appearance in real world to explore the appearance of identity in virtual world? Quantitative and qualitative research methods used for the research in “both worlds” will be challenged


real identity, virtual identity, research methods

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