Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Seminar: Identitiy

  • Physiognamy - people are born a certain way. This is defined by peoples characteristics. It is described as an Essentialist way of thinking. 
  • Most theory nowadays is 'anti-essentialist' and instead society shapes our identity.
Martin Parr -- Identifying Class

Identity: Who we are, and how others perceive who we are.
  • Creation of identity
  • Concepts of 'otherness'
  • Analysis of visual example

Identity Generation: What makes up a person's identity?
  • Self-presentation -- how other people perceive you
  • How you speak -- mannerisms & language
  • Where you are from -- accent
  • Who you surround yourself with / influences
  • Interests/hobbies
  • Upbringing
  • Genetics
  • Fears
  • Sense of humour
  • Skills & abilities -- social skills -- appropriateness
  • Religion & beliefs
  • Background
  • Gender -- stereotypes -- language functions
  • Sexuality
How do we express our identity to others?
  • variety of medias depending on dialects
  • First impressions
  • Expression of gender 
  • How you choose to dress
  • Expression of wealth 
  • Lifestyle choice
  • Conspicuous Consumption
  • Physical Appearance/ body modification
  • Job
  • Profession/Vocation
  • Emotional availability
  • Social Networking
  • Reality vs projected identity E.g Facebook.

The Circuit of Culture -- Stuart Hall
Culture is the framework within which our identities are formed, expressed and regulated.

Identity Formulation
  • Process from psychoanalysis
  • Jaques LACAN
  • The Hommelette
The 'Mirror Stage' -- a key point of identity formation -- a baby suddenly seeing itself in the mirror and realising they are human/ something wholesome and solid.
-Noticing things chosen to do at own free will generate a reaction/response.
-For example crying seeks a source of comfort. This gives ego affirmation and a great feeling. This creates conflict in the unconscious because the baby begins to form a sense of control, yet the response does not necessarily match. This is described as uncontrollable solidarity.. people return to the 'mirror stage throughout their lives in various forms.

Mirror stage gives a sense of of self (subjectivity) built on:
1. An illusion of wholeness.
2. Receiving views from others - it could be argued the response is the 'mirror image'. The confirmation is in the reflection - affirmation.

Constructing the 'Other'
Problems: this relies on the assumption of opposition and radical otherness. We secure our identity through defining what we are not.

-Stores up unstable identities through illusion of unity.
-Shared fashion, beliefs, systems and values.
-Subterranean Values (Matza, 1961).

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