Du Gay suggests that the Walkman’s “physical” representation indicates that whoever has one are tech-savy, cool, young, hip, and vibrant people. By looking at the advertisements that have been used in his book Doing Cultural Studies, the Sony Walkman is obviously represented as a portable music device that allows users to listen to music on the go. As du Gay says, “the very word “WALK-MAN” conjures up an image” and it basically means what it says – a man (or woman) walking. Its physical representation is comparative to that of social networking site Facebook. Livingstone (2008) suggests that Facebook is used by young people as a means of creating an identity by representing themselves in a certain way to their friends. While Facebook can’t be compared to the Sony Walkman in terms of representation, they are similar in terms of cultural meanings and practices because they are used by young people who want to associate themselves with a particular image. Representation through Facebook does not differ entirely in comparison to the Walkman because they can both convey a certain representation about someone, depending on the cultural meanings and how someone would like to represent themselves (Fabello, 2012).
Sonia Livingstone, ‘Taking Risky Opportunities in youthful content creation: teenagers’ use of social networking sites for intimacy, privacy and self-expression’ New Media & Society, 10:3, 2008, pp. 393-411
Melissa A. Fabello. ‘Taking Down Take-Down Culture: On Social Media Responsibility.’ http://www.missrepresentation.org/social-media/taking-down-take-down-culture-on-social-media-responsibility/
du Gay et al., (1997). “Doing Cultural Studies: The Story of the Sony Walkman”,The Open University, pp. 1- 40 & 125- 129.
– Annabelle Amos