Media Identity


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Taylor Westoby and Alex Heffernan's media and participation presentation on identity

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Media Identity

  1. 1. The Boring Identity Taylor Westoby & Alex Heffernan
  2. 2. Firstly… <ul><li>We realise that you have probably heard some of this stuff already so please don’t throw stuff at us. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the same ideas will appear but different context and ideas etc </li></ul>
  3. 3. Identity <ul><li>Identity is a huge part of everyone, some might even say that it is YOU. </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone wants to have their own identity, their own persona and to be an individual. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Individuality <ul><li>When faced with an ‘exterior experience’ of a kind, we feel a number of constraints that define how we ‘perform’ our identities. </li></ul><ul><li>These ‘experiences’ vary from certain situations to social groups. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Lego People <ul><li>‘ Who we are’ is deemed a collaborative project, as these exterior constraints provide the building blocks which our own identities are built upon. We can choose to use these building blocks to utilise, play with, or reject to create our sense of self. </li></ul><ul><li>These building blocks are built upon from generation to generation, friend to friend and will continue until any sense of self has vanished from society. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Influential Influences <ul><li>Family </li></ul><ul><li>Friends </li></ul><ul><li>TV/Film </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul><ul><li>Art </li></ul><ul><li>Experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Any suggestions? </li></ul>
  7. 7. Game of Risk anyone? <ul><li>This idea of the media shaping who you are links with Robinson who talks about t he fact that children are not afraid to be wrong, but as they get older they lose that; he states </li></ul><ul><li>‘ if your not prepared to be wrong you’ll never come up with anything original’. </li></ul><ul><li>Giddens in ‘ Modernity and Self-Identity’ argues that as individuals we begin to look at the ‘down-side’ of taking these risks and become less likely to jump feet first, resulting in the future of our identity being less based on the choices and risks we take and more being defined by the world and media around us. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Scared? <ul><li>Even now I’m sure that most of us are “afraid” to get something wrong in front of our lecturers or friends. </li></ul>
  9. 9. To the Theatre <ul><li>Sometimes we communicate with an ulterior motive to provide a particular outcome for a desired effect. For example – connecting with another person to form friendships or to get out of certain situations. </li></ul><ul><li>Goffman likens social interaction to a theatrical performance – similar to the Mel Brooks quote: </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Hope for the Best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We're unrehearsed.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>(Goffman, Erving, 1987. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, London: Penguin) </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>“… he may wish to ensure sufficient harmony so that the interaction can be sustained, or to defraud, get rid of, confuse, mislead, antagonize, or insult them. Regardless of the particular objective which the individual has in mind, and of his motive for having this objective, it will be in his interests to control the conduct of the others, especially their responsive treatment of him.” </li></ul><ul><li>(Goffman, Erving, 1987. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, London: Penguin </li></ul>Goffman
  11. 11. Persona(l) <ul><li>People’s identities consist of two parts according to Goffman, The “Front and Back Persona.” </li></ul><ul><li>The “Front persona” revolves around social and physical interaction, which can sometimes be shaped by the media and its inevitable censorship in our cultural society. </li></ul><ul><li>He contrasts this with the idea of &quot;Back persona&quot; that demonstrates more of what we are actually like behind closed doors. </li></ul><ul><li>These persona’s seem to have become more evident in the last few years due to online worlds such as Second Life and World Of Warcraft which has given people a chance to show off their “Back Persona” without anyone criticising or bullying them. It gives them a security barrier. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Life’s a Stage <ul><li>Going back to our identities being a performance, another aspect is the idea of the “stage.” This stage is our everyday life and the things we do are the “acts” that we put on. They wear different “costumes” of themselves for different “acts”. </li></ul><ul><li>These acts form our identity but the identity itself is not fixed or stable. </li></ul><ul><li>We perform in response to situations, expectations, motives and desires. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Identity Crisis <ul><li>Our identities are constantly changed by social elements from the outside world and this therefore makes it hard to discover who we think we “are.” </li></ul><ul><li>Somewhere in between being 'socialised' by the world around us, and being in control of our own life, we are constantly negotiating who we are with not only ourselves but everyone around us. </li></ul><ul><li>Have you ever noticed how someone you thought you knew acts completely different around other people? Tries to act cool to impress or more intellectual to intimidate. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  14. 14. Method Acting <ul><li>An individual who starts by performing a role to fit into a certain situation may overtime come to believe the performance they are acting is actually who they are and their “costume” becomes them. </li></ul><ul><li>The notion that change therefore happens from the outside in is strongly noted by Goffman. The identity of a person is changed by external sources and not out of choice. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Personal Police (not Sting) <ul><li>Foucault’s concept of 'technologies of the self', refers to ways in which people put across and police their &quot;selves&quot; around others; Different situations may allow or disallow the use of particular techniques to portray a desired effect. </li></ul><ul><li>Some people will tone down certain aspects of themselves when they are around different social groups for example. </li></ul><ul><li>Foucault, M (1988) Technologies of the self. In L H Martin, H Gutman and P H Hutton (eds) Technologies of the self. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, pp 16–49. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Are we TV’s Bitch? <ul><li>The media has become such a key part of modern times that external factors such as advertising and dominant television can no longer be ignored as a form of shaping our identities. </li></ul><ul><li>They can be seen to change who we are from a young age and mould our identities into whatever they want. </li></ul><ul><li>Even to the point that most people will struggle to talk about themselves without referring to something they have watched or seen. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Questions?