One, none and one hundred thousand profiles


  • Alberto Pepe Harvard University
  • Spencer Wolff Yale University
  • Karen Van Godtsenhoven Ghent University



Pirandello, social media, online identity, identity construction and deconstruction, symbolic interaction, performative, habitus, Goffman, Butler, Bourdieu


Uno, Nessuno, Centomila (“One, No One and One Hundred Thousand”) is a classic novel by Italian playwright Luigi Pirandello. Published in 1925, it recounts the tragedy of Vitangelo Moscarda, a man who struggles to reclaim a coherent and unitary identity for himself in the face of an inherently social and multi-faceted world. What would Moscarda identity tragedy look like today? In this article we transplant Moscarda’s identity play from its offline setting to the contemporary arena of social media and online social networks. With reference to established theories on identity construction, performance, and self-presentation, we re-imagine how Moscarda would go about defending the integrity of his selfhood in the face of the discountenancing influences of the online world.




How to Cite

Pepe, A., Wolff, S., & Van Godtsenhoven, K. (2012). One, none and one hundred thousand profiles. First Monday, 17(4).