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Shaping Virtual Lives

Online Identities, Representations, and Conducts

Edited by Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska, Theo Meder, and Andy Ross

Lodz University Press, 2012
Softcover, 148 pages
Price €22.00 (shipping included within Europe)
ISBN 978-83-7525-671-0

In recent years, a new cultural sphere based on instant exchange of information has led to new kinds of communication, not
merely for practical purposes but also for entertainment, social contact, the exchange of beliefs and opinions, and even the
expression of emotions. Online life has become an integral part of people’s existence and therefore merits ethnological

This volume presents selected papers from a panel session on virtual lives held at the 10th Congress of the International
Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF) titled People Make Places: Ways of Feeling the World, 17–21 April 2011, Lisbon,

The authors investigate a range of topics: rules, rituals, morals and self-representations in the worlds of social media and
gaming; how avatars are used for self-representation on dating sites; the rivalry between the inhabitants of Moscow and St.
Petersburg as expressed on an Internet forum; websites for mourning over and remembering suicide victims in two countries;
and the way the Internet can be used by new vernacular religious movements.


Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska and Theo Meder

Theo Meder
‘You have to make up your own story here’: Identities in cyberspace from Twitter to Second Life

Jennifer Meta Robinson
Performing self: Questions of identity competence in a virtual world point to real life constructions

Óli Gneisti Sóleyjarson
Rules and boundaries: The morality of Eve Online

Anders Gustavsson
Messages on memorial Internet websites relating to suicide in Norway and Sweden

Violetta Krawczyk-Wasilewska and Andy Ross
Matchmaking through avatars: Social aspects of online dating

Maria Yelenevskaya
Moscow and St. Petersburg compete: Negotiating city identity on

Robert Howard
Digital devotees: Vernacular authority in a new kind of religious movement


"This is an interesting and necessary book, which should stand side by side with Dutch cultural historian Johan Huizinga's book
Homo Ludens."

From "Homo Ludens: Describing Virtual Lives" by Mare Kalda, Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore, 57/2014, 189-190