Internet and Social Identity



The objective of this paper is to probe the effect of the internet on some aspects of social identity (such as religious, ethnical, familial and individual) in the city of Sanandaj, using survey research method. The research was conducted amongst two groups of girls: those who were using the internet and those who do not. The analysis of data revealed statistically significant differences between the two groups. The religious, ethnical, familial and personal identities in the former group are weaker than the latter group. This could be an indication of decreasing effect of traditional canals in the identity-building process of girls on one hand, and that an sign of qualitative change in identity-forming components in modern age on the other that are not under the control of traditional and non-official (family, ethnicity and religious) resources as well as that of official structures (institutions in charge of social control and cultural planning). The paper concludes that despite attempts done by traditional, official and non-official institutions in directing social and individual identities, yet the use of the internet has significantly affected the social identity of the respondents.