The Elastic Self

Ask me anything   Ohai! Welcome to my research blog where I archive material about identity making. I'm still working through my theory, but do take a look at An Xiao's lovely article that uses my theory of the Elastic Self to explain the cultural value of social media, such as Tumblr. I gave a talk about the Elastic Self at the first Tumblr Arts Symposium, scrub to 1:11 for my talk. I do a lot of research on Chinese youth, so you'll find lots of info about that topic. The one minute version of Elastic Self so far: The Elastic Self is both the feeling that one's identity is flexible and the action of trying on different identities that are different from a prescribed self. Individuals enact and manifest the Elastic Self in informal spaces that provide social distance from existing social ties and under conditions of relative anonymity, which minimizes social risks. In the presence of unknown others (strangers), individuals feel liberated to try on different identities without pressure to commit to an identity, to take greater risks in expressing ideas or emotions, and to try on selves that are reversible, easy to abandon, and impermanent.

twitter.com/triciawang:

    
“Chrome Version (type about:version into your omnibox):
Operating System (Windows 7/8/Vista/XP, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS):Extensions (type Chrome:extensions into your omnibox):
Google keeps saying that my profile is suspended, i do NOT wish to use my real name on the internet because that is a risk Google does not take heavily. I have changed my name to the common name i go by on the internet which is Shadowknightmare, but now google keeps saying “Your profile was suspended because it violates our names policy take action.”
Please help, i do not want to change the name and/or find people on Google+, it is also my channel name and i do not want to change that.
Thank you for reading this, if you are still confused PM me.”

    Chrome Version (type about:version into your omnibox):

    Operating System (Windows 7/8/Vista/XP, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS):Extensions (type Chrome:extensions into your omnibox):

    Google keeps saying that my profile is suspended, i do NOT wish to use my real name on the internet because that is a risk Google does not take heavily. I have changed my name to the common name i go by on the internet which is Shadowknightmare, but now google keeps saying “Your profile was suspended because it violates our names policy take action.”

    Please help, i do not want to change the name and/or find people on Google+, it is also my channel name and i do not want to change that.

    Thank you for reading this, if you are still confused PM me.”

    (Source: triciawang)

    — 7 months ago with 1 note
    #real name policy  #real name  #google+  #identity  #self 
    "When a woman says, ‘I have nothing to wear!’, what she really means is, ‘There’s nothing here for who I’m supposed to be today."
    — 9 months ago with 1 note
    #identity  #self  #women  #females  #gender  #woman  #female  #clothing  #shopping 
    "Determination is a real social process, but never (as in some theological and some Marxist versions) a wholly controlling, wholly predicting set of causes. On the contrary, the reality of determination
    is the setting of limits and the exertion of pressures, within which variable social practices are profoundly affected but never necessarily controlled. We have to think of determination not as a single force, or a single abstraction of forces, but as a process in which real determining factors—the distribution of power or of capital, social and political inheritance, relations of scale and size
    between groups—set limits and exert pressures, but neither wholly control nor wholly predict the outcome of complex activity within or at these limits, and under or against these pressures."
    Williams, Raymond. 2003. pg 133. Television: Technology and cultural form. London & New York: Routledge. 
    — 10 months ago
    "Structure of Feeling is “the distilled residue of the organization of the lived experience of a community over and above the institutional and ideological organization of the society”"
    Williams, Raymond. 1977. Marxism and Literature. Oxford University Press. 
    — 10 months ago with 11 notes
    #raymond williams  #structure of feeling 

    triciawang:

    The Trouble with Being Human These Days (official trailer) - Documentary about Zygmunt Bauman (by photogl)

    — 10 months ago with 6 notes
    #zygmunt bauman  #sociology  #society  #sociologist  #human  #documentary 

    Lecture Zygmunt Bauman - Lessons of the Holocaust - 27 januari 2012 (by Soeterbeeck Programma)

    — 10 months ago with 3 notes
    #zygmunt bauman  #sociologist  #sociology  #holocaust 
    Late modernity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia →

    Liquid modernity Zygmunt Bauman who introduced the idea of liquid modernity wrote that its characteristics are the privatization of ambivalence and increasing feelings of uncertainty. It is a kind of chaotic continuation of modernity, where one can shift from one social position to another, in a fluid manner. Nomadism becomes a general trait of the liquid modern man, as he flows through his own life like a tourist, changing places, jobs, spouses, values and sometimes even more (such as political or sexual orientation), (self-)excluded from the traditional networks of support. Bauman stressed the new burden of responsibility fluid modernism placed on the individual, with traditional patterns being replaced by self-chosen ones. Entry into the globalized social was open to anyone with their own stance and the ability to fund it, in the same way as an old-fashioned caravanserai. The result is a normative mindset dominated by an emphasis on shifting rather than staying - on provisional commitments - which can lead a subject to a prison of their own existential creation.

    — 10 months ago with 1 note
    #liquid modernity  #zygmunt bauman 
    "China was the first nation to use statistical records as a basis by which to plot and police its people, and contemporary Chinese institutions for policing rely heavily on the maintenance of traditional notions of community mutuality."
    Dutton, Michael Robert. 1992. Policing and Punishment in China: From Patriarchy to T̀he People. Cambridge University Press. 
    — 10 months ago with 1 note
    #statistical  #statistics 
    "In the immediate as well as the symbolic sense, in the physical as well as the intellectual sense, we are at any moment those who separate the connected, or connect the separate."
    Georg Simmel (1994). Bridge and door. Theory Culture and Society, 11, 5.
    — 10 months ago with 14 notes
    #Georg Simmel  #sociology  #secrets  #boundary  #borders  #quote 
    Glenn’s areas of scholarly interest lie in the sociological study of crime and social problems, including the mass media framing of high profile crimes, school shootings, missing persons, and social control through surveillance technologies. (via Glenn W. Muschert - Miami University - Home Page)

    Glenn’s areas of scholarly interest lie in the sociological study of crime and social problems, including the mass media framing of high profile crimes, school shootings, missing persons, and social control through surveillance technologies. (via Glenn W. Muschert - Miami University - Home Page)

    — 10 months ago with 1 note
    Gary T. Marx - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia →

    In recent decades he has been working on surveillance issues, illustrating how and why surveillance is neither good nor bad, but context and comportment make it so. He has sought to create a conceptual map of new ways of collecting, analyzing, communicating and using personal information. Explanation and evaluation require a common language for the identification and measurement of surveillance’s fundamental properties and contexts (e.g., the new surveillance, surveillance society, maximum security society, surveillance creep; surveillance slack, the softening of surveillance, the myth of surveillance, neutralization and counter-neutralization, and four basic surveillance contexts: coercion, contracts, care, and cross cutting, unprotected “publicly” available data). The richness of the empirical must be disentangled and parsed into categories which can be measured. Articles at [www.garymarx.net] illustrate this. His empirical and theoretical studies on topics such as covert policing, computer matching and profiling, work monitoring, drug testing, location monitoring, Caller-ID and communications manners are not above the occasional stoop to humor. The work argues for the need to understand current surveillance practices within specific settings in light of history, culture, social structure and the give and take of interaction and to appreciate (if not necessarily welcome) the ironies, paradoxes, trade-offs and value conflicts which limit the best laid plans. Mushrooms do well in the dark, but so does injustice. Sunlight may bring needed accountability through visibility, but it can also blind and burn and unlevel playing fields, like the Dude, tend to endure.

    — 10 months ago
    #gary t. marx  #mit  #sociologist  #privacy  #sociology of information  #simmel  #georg simmel 

    triciawang:

    Someone has made a highly designed video of Sherry Turkle’s #alonetogether argument - GAHHHHHHHHH 

    Buried in this video are some good sociological observations about group size and interactions. Take those gems and leave the ‘social media will kill us’ rhetoric behind. 

    The Innovation of Loneliness (by Shimi Cohen)

    — 10 months ago with 15 notes
    #sherry turkle  #sociology  #lonely  #loneliness  #social media 
    Excerpt from Zheng, Y., & Wu, G. (2005). Information Technology, Public Space, and Collective Action in China. Comparative Political Studies, 38(5), 507–536.

    "… it is useful to make a distinction between political liberalization and democratization. According to O’Donnell and Schmitter

    (1986), political liberalization can be defined as “the process of making
    effective certain rights that protect both individuals and social groups from
    arbitrary or illegal acts committed by the state or third parties” (p. 7). It is a
    process and a movement that departs from the usual practice of authoritarian regimes. Such a movement has the effect of lowering the costs (real or anticipated) of individual expression and collective action. On the other hand, democratization

    refers to the processes whereby the rules and procedures of citizenship are either applied to political institutions previously governed by other principles, or expanded to include persons not previously enjoying such rights and obligations, or extended to cover issues and institutions not previously subject to citizen participation. (p. 8)

    Liberalization can take place within the existing political framework because 

    authoritarian rulers may tolerate or even promote liberalization in the belief that by opening up certain spaces for individual and group action, they can relieve various pressures and obtain needed information and support without altering the structure of authority, that is, without becoming accountable to the citizenry for their actions or subjecting their claim to rule to fair and competitive elections. (p. 9)

    Liberalization can exist without democratization, leading to a situation
    that O’Donnell and Schmitter (1986) called “liberalized authoritarianism.”
    In this context, we argue that IT has promoted political liberalization in
    China. The impact of IT on political liberalization can be explored in different ways.”

    — 11 months ago with 3 notes
    #china  #political  #politics 
    ""How can we ascertain whether the state of ‘being free’ is in fact appreciated by most people in most places? The caveat here is that
    “if I ask someone whether he prefers to travel on horseback or by car, his reply is meaningless unless the respondent has at least seen a car and a horse. It is pointless to enquire about preferences vis-à-vis people who have never been offered alternatives, that is, anything to compare… . Innumerable people cannot prefer something to something else because they have no “else” in sight; they simply live with, and encapsulated within, the human (or inhumane) condition they find.”“"
    Sartori, Giovanni. (1993). H ow far can free government travel? Journal of D emocracy, 6, 101–111. 
    — 11 months ago with 1 note
    #Giovanni Sartori  #democracy  #quote