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Which clippings match 'Identity Rehearsal And Enactment' keyword pg.1 of 1
07 SEPTEMBER 2010

Mediated environments: we must learn to write themselves into being

"In everyday interactions, the body serves as a critical site of identity performance. In conveying who we are to other people, we use our bodies to project information about ourselves.[32] This is done through movement, clothes, speech, and facial expressions. What we put forward is our best effort at what we want to say about who we are. Yet while we intend to convey one impression, our performance is not always interpreted as we might expect. Through learning to make sense of others' responses to our behavior, we can assess how well we have conveyed what we intended. We can then alter our performance accordingly. This process of performance, interpretation, and adjustment is what Erving Goffman calls impression management,[33] and is briefly discussed in the introduction to this volume. Impression management is a part of a larger process where people seek to define a situation[34] through their behavior. People seek to define social situations by using contextual cues from the environment around them. Social norms emerge out of situational definitions, as people learn to read cues from the environment and the people present to understand what is appropriate behavior.

Learning how to manage impressions is a critical social skill that is honed through experience. Over time, we learn how to make meaning out of a situation, others' reactions, and what we are projecting of ourselves. As children, we learn that actions on our part prompt reactions by adults; as we grow older, we learn to interpret these reactions and adjust our behavior. Diverse social environments help people develop these skills because they force individuals to reevaluate the signals they take for granted.

The process of learning to read social cues and react accordingly is core to being socialized into a society. While the process itself begins at home for young children, it is critical for young people to engage in broader social settings to develop these skills. Of course, how children are taught about situations and impression management varies greatly by culture,[35] but these processes are regularly seen as part of coming of age. While no one is ever a true master of impression management, the teenage years are ripe with opportunities to develop these skills.

In mediated environments, bodies are not immediately visible and the skills people need to interpret situations and manage impressions are different. As Jenny Sundén argues, people must learn to write themselves into being.[36] Doing so makes visible how much we take the body for granted. While text, images, audio, and video all provide valuable means for developing a virtual presence, the act of articulation differs from how we convey meaningful information through our bodies. This process also makes explicit the self–reflexivity that Giddens argues is necessary for identity formation, but the choices individuals make in crafting a digital body highlight the self–monitoring that Foucault describes.[37]

In some sense, people have more control online–they are able to carefully choose what information to put forward, thereby eliminating visceral reactions that might have seeped out in everyday communication. At the same time, these digital bodies are fundamentally coarser, making it far easier to misinterpret what someone is expressing. Furthermore, as Amy Bruckman shows, key information about a person's body is often present online, even when that person is trying to act deceptively; for example, people are relatively good at detecting when someone is a man even when they profess to be a woman online.[38] Yet because mediated environments reveal different signals, the mechanisms of deception differ.[39] "

(Danah Boyd 2008, p.128–129)

[32] Fred Davis, Fashion, Culture and Identity (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992).

[33] Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh, 1956).

[34] Erving Goffman, Behavior in Public Places (New York: The Free Press, 1963).

[35] Jean Briggs, Inuit Morality Play: The Emotional Education of a Three–Year–Old (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999).

[36] Jenny Sundén, Material Virtualities (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, 2003).

[37] See David Buckingham's introduction to this volume for a greater discussion of this.

[38] Joshua Berman and Amy Bruckman, The Turing Game: Exploring Identity in an Online Environment, Convergence 7, no. 3 (2001): 83–102.

[39] Judith Donath, Identity and Deception in the Virtual Community, Communities in Cyberspace, eds. Marc Smith and Peter Kollock (London: Routledge, 1999).

1). Boyd, D. (2008). Why Youth (Heart) Social Network Sites: The Role of Networked Publics in Teenage Social Life. Youth, Identity, and Digital Media. D. Buckingham. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press: 119–142.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
06 NOVEMBER 2009

Rehearsal as a Naming Process Central to the Development of Creative Identities

"Students in the Multimedia degree programme at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) are requested to keep online journals in the form of weblogs. They do so to document their evolving design practice and experimentation....

By maintaining the journals NTU Multimedia students engage in a naming process where they rehearse their creative identities into practice. Through doing so they script their individual narratives as they contribute to a shared discourse about the nature of their field. Through assimilating and reflecting upon new knowledge in this way, the students are able to participate in localised Communities of Practice that act as vehicles for naming, sharing and critiquing common practices. In doing so they become located within a broader network of symbolic exchange readied for forging new opportunities for collaboration and prepared for establishing individualised practices within a broader network of global interconnections."

(Julius Ayodeji and Simon Perkins, 2009)

[1] Dávid Jablonovský, Tom Nightingale and Kameljit Banwait
[2] Ayodeji, J. and S. Perkins (2009). Rehearsal as a Naming Process Central to the Development of Creative Identities. Designs on e–Learning International Online Conference. London, UK, University of the Arts London.

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TAGS

2009communities of practice • creative identities • creative practice • Designs on E-Learning Online Conference • e-learningelearning • enhanced learning • evolving practice • identity naming and rehearsal • identity rehearsal • identity rehearsal and enactment • Julius Ayodeji • knowledge integrationlearning • learning identities • learning journallearning storiesmultimedianamingnaming and rehearsalnaming processNottingham Trent UniversityNTUNTU Multimediaonline journalspedagogypersonal knowledge mappingpractice narrativesprofessional developmentreflective journalrehearsalrehearsal through creative practiceSimon Perkins • symbolic exchange • Technology Enhanced LearningTELUKvirtual learning

CONTRIBUTOR

Multimedia
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