November 7th lecture notes/summary

This lecture centred around identity construction, continuity, and dissolving structure over time with the introduction of various social movements and new technologies. Our first two presentations explored the construction of identity through the individual vs audience. Though we may have an intention of what we think our posts communicate, the audience may view the posts very differently. Shanon tricked all of us by presenting two different posts and asked about the posters characteristics. The class answered with items like intelligent, arrogant, and old, meanwhile she had actually written both examples and challenged our assumptions. Her example about music (where we evaluated the poster as older) was written because she did not grow up with the same musical influences as most of us did, however when evaluating only the text we had not taken cultural influences in to our evaluation. Her demonstration highlighted many of the shortcomings that exist when evaluating characteristics from an anonymous online context.

The 1960s gave rise to the larger community reach possible through television. This lead to the beginning of an identity crisis by seeing the high number of others similar to ourselves across many regions. Suddenly those quirks that made one person stand out were relatable to others, and no longer a stand alone trait. Feminist movements began to assist in the breakdown of strongly compartmentalized definitions of identity traits like masculinity etc. This led to ambiguities, alternatives, and combinations of traits without a clear distinction between groups. Kate Crawford aimed to discuss lurking as a form of listening, instead of “stalking” behaviour. This adds to the value of audience and how listening is still a form of engagement.

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