Sociology Essays – Postmodernism Identity Formation

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Postmodernism Identity Formation

Identity Formation in the Postmodern World


This work shall look at the thought of individuality formation in the station modern universe. First, at definitions of postmodernism and individuality formation, and so traveling on to depict how individualities are formed. To be discussed in peculiar, are Giddens’ sense of the “reflexive self” and Hall’s theory of the ‘crisis of the self’ , pulling upon illustrations from recreational drug usage and looking at how ingestion and globalization have led to multiple narrative representations of ego.

Chapter 1

Introduction: Postmodernism and Identity Formation

What is post modernness? Postmodernism ; a reaction to modernism ; is a province ( or complex set of provinces ) that lacks a clear organizing rule which embodies complexness, contradiction, ambiguity and interconnection. It is, possibly, basically, the incarnation of a general dissatisfaction with modernness, reflecting cardinal alterations in attitudes towards what has gone in the past and towards long-held beliefs.

Everyone, it seems, has a different position of what post-modernism really is. Postmodernism has different definitions in different research countries and harmonizing to different faculty members within these different research sphere. Some faculty members even disagree about the presence of post-modernity, reasoning that postmodernism does non be.

Giddens ( 1991 ) , for illustration, prefers to utilize the term ‘post-traditionalist’ to depict the province of society at the minute. Postmodernism is, to some, a universe position, whereas to others, it is little more than a ‘buzz word’ ( Hebdige, 2006 ) .

Kirby ( 2006 ) builds on this sentiment of Hebdige ( 2006 ) . He argues that, following the rise of pseudo-modernism, postmodernism is dead, whilst other writers argue that postmodernism was ne’er a motion, instead merely “ … the unsmooth lineation of a set of self-referential ideals than a echt cultural movement.” ( Willis, 2007, p.44 ) . Many have called postmodernism meaningless, in its most profound sense, as the motion as a whole ( if, so, it can be called a “movement” ) , adds nil to our corporate cognition base.

However this phenomenon is labelled, the thought of individuality formation in this changing, ‘post modern’ atmosphere is of involvement. How do persons, in this fractured, multi-narrative society, organize their individualities? This is surely a subject that continues to turn in sociological significance, as the factors and conditions refering to the building of our individualities have changed, diversified, spread and go more dynamic in this ‘post modern’ universe.

Identity formation is the procedure by which a individual develops a personality that is distinguishable from that of other people. This procedure serves to specify an person, non merely to others, but besides to the single them self ( see Levineet al. ,2002 ) . In footings of how this definition is maintained, the individuality is actuated through a procedure of development of singularity, reinforced through continuity and association ( see Levineet al. ,2002 ) . The procedure of individuality formation finally leads to the impression of personal individuality, where individuality is forged through individuality and an apprehension of one’s ain self-concept ( see Levineet al. ,2002 ) .

What is individuality in a station modern universe? For many, individuality is now a fluid construct, an unfastened inquiry, a concept that is built as one moves along, harmonizing to one’s environment and one’s involvements and interactions, be these physical or practical. In a station modern sense, the ego is switching, fluid, or as Berzonsky ( 2005 ) argues, individuality is dynamic, multiplistic, relativistic, context-specific and disconnected ( Berzonsky, 2005 ) . Further, Berzonsky ( 2005 ) provinces, ego individuality may function as a manner in which persons reach out from a personal point of view in this fractured, post-modern universe.

As Kellner ( 1995 ) and Featherstone ( 1991 ) argue, individuality, in the post-modern universe, is closely identified with the active ingestion of merchandises that are offered to persons by the media and leisure industries ( Ott, 2003 ) . Several faculty members, whilst differing on the mechanism for this, agree that socio – cultural factors and forces, that construction difference and later make the boundaries essential to individuality, have changed dramatically in recent decennaries ( Ott, 2003 ; see Kellner, 1995 ; Rosenau, 1992 and Van Poecke, 1996 ) .

As Poster provinces, “ … a post-modern society is emerging which nurtures signifiers of individuality different from, or even opposite to, those of modernity.” ( Ott, 2003, p.58 ) . As Kellner ( 1995 ) argues, “ … one is a female parent, a boy, a Texan, a Scot, a professor, a socialist, a Catholic, a sapphic – or instead a combination of these societal functions and possibilities. Identities are therefore still comparatively fixed and limited, though the boundaries of possible individualities, of new individualities, are continually expanding.” ( Ott, 2003, p.63 ) .

As the manner of economic sciences displacements from goods-based to service-based, from centralized mass-production to a trans-national, globalise and production, persons are less likely to turn up their individualities in pre-given classs and ascribed functions, such that “ … category, gender and ethnicity diminution in societal significance” ( see Crooket al. ,1992, p.84 ) , whilst the active ingestion of thoughts and manners grows in importance ( see Kellner, 1995 ) .Such that, difference – and, through this – individuality, is now defined and affirmed through consumer pick, and, finally, hence, through ingestion ( see Ott, 2003 ) .

As Ott ( 2003 ) argues, the civilization industry performs two chief maps in footings of individuality formation: it provides consumers with expressed individuality theoretical accounts demoing themhowto be, and besides provides consumers with the symbolic resources with which to ( re ) construct their individualities. Cultural media, such as telecasting, magazines and general advertisement, accordingly come to determine the nature of individuality, by supplying individuality theoretical accounts and the symbolic resources for the passage of the chosen individuality ( Ott, 2003 ) .

As Ott ( 2003 ) argues this buying of individuality can take to serious jobs, such as losing sight of oneself: as Ott ( 2003, p. 74 ) provinces, in his analysis ofThe Simpson’sas an exemplifier of postmodern individuality building, “Homer chows, Homer drinks, Homer burps, but, in world, there is nil called ‘Homer’ beyond the feeding, imbibing and belching.

There is no being behind the making. Homer is merely the amount of his actions and no more….In this manner, the topic evaporates and all societal and political action becomes ineffectual and absurd.” . Similarly, in the postmodern universe, where individuality formation is so closely linked to consumerism, it is easy to lose sight of 1s true ego, in the thick of so many individualities that, through the media, are thrown at one.

Although, as Berzonsky ( 2005 ) contends, ego individuality may function as a manner in which persons reach out from a personal point of view in a fractured, postmodern universe, through which an individual’s sense of ego is preserved, as something that is, yes, adapted by consumerism but which is, basically, the merchandise of one’s ain experiences and determinations sing ‘self’ , Further, self-importance individuality can supply a personal point of view for moving and decision-making in the fractured, fluid, postmodern universe.

For Berzonsky ( 2005 ) , hence, individuality is a fluid construct in the postmodern sense. There can, nevertheless, be no multiple individualities for, by definition, individuality is “ … a uniqueness, fixed on some dimension that is conserved over clip and place” ( Berzonsky, 2005, p. 133 ) . As Berzonsky ( 2005 ) provinces, so, there can non be multiple individualities, instead merely multiple facets of one’s personality, something that is exposed through consumerism, with different purchases leting persons to show different aspects of their personalities.

In drumhead, individuality formation in the postmodern age has arisen from, and is dependent on, consumerism as a drive force. In Berzonsky’s sentiment, “…the quest to accomplish a sense of individuality is of import because we live in a relativistic, postmodern age of continual societal, political, economic and technological alteration, which requires continually shifting looks of one’s self.” ( Berzonsky, 2005, p.133 ) .

Whilst postmodernism requires fluidness, this fluidness arises as different responses to ever-changing stimulations, through altering looks in the different aspects of an individual’s multi-faceted personality. Berzonsky’s ( 2005 ) position of individuality formation in the postmodern universe is non every bit pessimistic as that presented by Ott ( 2003 ) , which suggests that nil but a vacuity exists at the nucleus of an single, but both theoretical attacks to individuality formation in postmodern times rely on the development of multiple narrations as a manner of covering with the fluidness of constructs that postmodernism presents to persons. Subsequent subdivisions of the work will concentrate on spread outing these thoughts farther.

Chapter 2

Literature Review & A ; Methodology

This subdivision will depict how the literature reappraisal, which forms the footing of this work, was conducted, in footings of the methodological analysis used to seek for, and usage, the literature that forms the footing of this work. This subdivision explains precisely how the literature reappraisal was performed, in footings of what was donepracticallyin order to happen the literature that has been used as the footing for this work. This subdivision basically describes the methodological analysis that was used to supply an analysis of the specific research inquiry of involvement in this work, i.e. , “Howisindividuality formed in this postmodern universe? ”

A literature reappraisal is, basically, a categorization and a thorough rating of the most relevant plants that have antecedently been published on a peculiar topic. The literature reappraisal is normally organized depending on the peculiar research aim, so that it presents a systematic, comprehensive reappraisal of the work that has been antecedently published on that specific subject of involvement.

From this footing, determinations as to what farther research needs to be conducted on the specific subject of involvement can be made, from the thorough apprehension of the old plants on this topic. A full apprehension of the bing literature provides non merely a comprehensive reappraisal of the bing literature but will besides enable the research worker to make up one’s mind what specific sub-topics, for illustration, need farther probe.

In this manner, hence, a literature reappraisal can inform non merely the current research programs but besides map the manner for future research. After due consideration to the human resources and clip frame necessary to roll up primary empirical grounds that would turn out pertinent to this particular survey, following a wholly literature-based library attack was deemed the most efficient and matter-of-fact method of research.

Within the range of this work, ‘the literature’ refers non merely to literature such as text editions, and specialist academic books, but besides to the relevant research literature, via published diary articles. A reappraisal of the literature that is relevant to the research inquiry of involvement therefore serves many intents, including, as has been seen, demoing how the current research programme fits in with old research on the subject, showing alternate positions in order to let an rating of how the proposed research should continue, and, eventually, demoing that all of the relevant, old, work on the current research subject has been evaluated and has been to the full understood, formalizing the current research programme through the support of antecedently published work ( see Hart, 1999 ) .

A literature reappraisal is normally conducted before get downing any new academic research, because, as has been seen, a thorough reappraisal of the literature provides a comprehensive overview of what research has been performed, and provides farther information, such as how other research workers have analysed or solved similar jobs. In this sense, a literature reappraisal is a simplereappraisalof the bing literature on a topic but is besides anratingof this work and the relationships between the bing plants ( Hart, 1999 ) .

The literature reappraisal besides allows an rating of the relationship between the research that is being proposed and the bing research, giving the research worker nutrient for idea, based on what has gone antecedently. In this sense, reexamining the literature puts the work that is being proposed in tocontextby inquiring any figure of relevant inquiries, refering what is already known about the subject of involvement, what the relationships are between the cardinal thoughts, what thoughts already exist in footings of understanding the subject, what grounds is needed to eventually make a decision and part the proposed research will do to the literature ( see Hart, 1999 ) .

This exercising, whilst it can be thought of as time-consuming, can be valuable in footings of make up one’s minding what jobs to near in the class of the research, how to near these jobs, and how to show the literature reappraisal once the relevant literature has been searched, evaluated and summarised ( Krathwohl, 1988 ) .

Reviewing old work can, hence, supply a practical usher as to how the research one is carry oning should continue, from before the research begins in earnest until its concluding completion ( Madsen, 1992 ) .

The chief purpose of a thorough reappraisal of the literature, as outlined in this subdivision, is to seek out and turn up relevant literature, to read and to analyze the information that has been found, to measure the information, through happening the relevant information in the literature, in footings of positioning the old literature within the model of the research that is about to be undertaken ( Muskal, 2000 ) .

This requires many accomplishments, such as cognizing how to recover the necessary information, assemblage and forming the information, being able to critically measure this information and developing farther research inquiries once the information has been gathered and evaluated ( Fink, 2004 ) .

Standard bibliographic databases can be used in order to seek relevant literature ( Hart, 1999 ) . If, for illustration, one wants to happen out about how individuality is formed in the postmodern universe, one would foremost necessitate to cognize something about individuality formation and postmodernism in general and would therefore come in these as hunt footings. One would so wait for the database to return the inside informations of any relevant, bing, literature.

Such general hunt footings would usually supply 1000000s of broad articles, and, if this is the instance, the hunt footings can be narrowed by come ining more specific hunt footings, for illustration, ‘identity formation and postmodernism’ or ‘Antony Giddens’ . The usual process is to come in narrower and narrower hunt footings until such a point that lone literature incorporating specific information, on the specific research subject of involvement, are returned.

These would be the articles that would so be looked at in item, or used as the footing of other hunts. For illustration, a ‘Citation’ hunt can be performed, which will return other related articles that focuses on the specific subject of involvement that have cited the original article as a mention. This type of seeking will evidently return more recent work that has referenced the original research article in some manner, either through utilizing the article as the footing for their ain research or utilizing the consequences of the article to back up some new findings.

The consequences from seeking the bibliographic database ( s ) should so be collected together, as these will organize the footing of the reappraisal of the literature in any farther academic work on this subject. Bibliographic database searching is an recognized research tool, and, as such, is a well-recognised ethical research tool ( Anson and Schwegler, 2000 ) .

In footings of how the literature for this work was sought for, footings such as ‘postmodernist identity’ , ‘Giddens’ and ‘identity formation’ were used as hunt footings, amongst many others. Web of Science was used as the bibliographic database. This database contains mentions to most articles published in the last century, covering the Fieldss of psychological science and doctrine, amongst others. In footings of make up one’s minding which literature to following the bibliographic database hunt, assorted standards were used to measure whether the literature should be included or non.

The literature that was returned following the bibliographic database hunt was read if it was of general involvement to the topic i.e. , if it contained any information on individuality formation and postmodernism, and if the literature was recent ( i.e. , published within the last 15 old ages ) because merely recent articles would incorporate up-to-date information.

This literature was utile in contextualizing the research, in footings of supplying a general overview of the subject. The literature that was used in this work was selected if it includedspecificinformation on individuality formation and postmodernism. A list of the literature used in the work is given in the References subdivision, at the terminal of the work.

In footings of how the work of others can be incorporated in to one’s ain research, it is necessary to construct upon the work of other research workers in order for cognition, on a peculiar topic, to be advanced. Research proceeds in this manner ; by utilizing the work of others as a starting point ; so that research is non repeated and so that research moves in a positive way, constructing constructively on the work of others ( Krathwohl, 1988 ) .

Using the work of others through the development of a literature-based work is, hence, wholly ethical, on the status that the old work is referenced and cited right within the subsequent work ( Madsen, 1992 ) . On this footing, so, the bibliographic database hunts and the usage of literature of involvement is a valid protocol for carry oning research.

Chapter 3

Examples of Postmodern Identity Formation

Recreational Drug Culture

One illustration of the formation of individuality in the postmodern universe is the pickings of recreational drugs. The pickings of recreational drugs increased with the development of the dance and rave scene in the 1980s, increasing during the development of the ‘clubbing’ scene.

Pollss indicate that up to 79 % of clubbers have taken recreational drugs at some point in their lives, with ecstasy, hemp and cocaine being the most widely-used recreational drugs. Although Ketalar, diacetylmorphine and GBH were besides mentioned in the responses to the study ( Home Office Survey, 2003 ) .

The same study ( Home Office, 2003 ) found that the bulk of the persons interviewed felt that drug-taking was an built-in portion of their lives, which heightened their clubbing experience. Most of the interviewees acknowledging utilizing recreational drugs and imbibing intoxicant on the same dark every clip they go clubbing.

This determination is non to state that drug-taking is as widespread in the general young person population, because many young persons are non ‘clubbers’ and are therefore possibly, non involved in the drug scene ( see Meashamet al. ,2001 ) , nevertheless, recreational drug-taking is a immense portion of many immature people’s lives, the manner in which they express themselves and place themselves to others. Why?

What encourages recreational drug usage amongst immature people? Coggans and McKellar ( 1994 ) look at drug usage amongst immature people, reexamining the importance of ‘peer pressure’ in the oncoming of illicit drug usage ; happening that there is small existent grounds for a causal relationship and that, as such, the function of single pick in drug taking demands to be analysed.

As Coggans and McKellar ( 1994 ) suggest, persons are free to take to take recreational drugs, whether or non this is bound to societal interaction with equals or non, and the pick to make so is non, hence, needfully a map of equal force per unit area.

Novaceket Al.( 1991 ) looked at the usage of recreational drugs amongst striplings, happening that there were five chief accounts as to why striplings admit to utilizing recreational drugs: for a sense of belonging, to get by with jobs they are holding, for pleasance, for heightening creativeness and to get by with the aggression they feel inside themselves. The different grounds matching to the frequence with which drugs are used.

In add-on, Novaceket Al.( 1991 ) found that there were age- and gender-specific relationships between drug usage and the grounds behind the drug usage, with older males, for illustration, more likely to acknowledge to utilizing drugs for pleasance, and younger misss more likely to acknowledge to utilizing drugs to further a sense of belonging.

Dorn ( 1975 ) looks at the different maps and assortments of possible accounts for drug usage, happening that society has to give a label to drug usage ( that is normally entirely negative ) , in order to make up one’s mind upon how to prosecute drug usage. This is affected through the development of policies to accomplish societal control, and how to handle drug users in demand of aid.

As Dorn ( 1975 ) argues, there are, nevertheless, many and varied grounds why persons take to drugs, including societal and economic positions, and personal events which lead to the single decision making to seek drugs. Each of these paths to drug usage says something about the individuality the person has fostered for themselves and, as such, represents a distinguishable path to individuality formation.

As Duff ( 2004 ) argues, recreational drug usage is no more than a ‘practice of the self’ , as Foucault would state, an look of one’s ego and, as such, should be dealt with utilizing ‘ethics of moderation’ and non as an illegal blight on society. As Duff ( 2004 ) argues, citing Foucault and his thoughts of pleasance gives a different position on recreational drug usage, assisting to understand the altering nature of recreational drug usage amongst immature people, and therefore supplying new conceptual models with which to try to deduce policies for commanding drug usage.

Duff ( 2005 ) continues this logical thinking, looking at recreational drug usage amongst what she footings ‘party people’ , happening ( in common with Home Office, 2003 ) that, amongst this group of immature people, drug usage has been ‘normalised’ , going a normal portion of their leisure clip, every bit normal as holding a beer, for illustration, or smoking a coffin nail.

As Duff ( 2005 ) argues, this standardization has deductions for policy development in footings of injury minimisation programmes. For the young person sampled by Duff ( 2005 ) , recreational drugs have passed from being something unsafe and illegal, to something that is normal and acceptable amongst their equal group, and the wider society in which they mingle.

For the immature people who take recreational drugs on a regular basis, hence, drugs are portion and package of their individuality formation in our post-modern times.

There is no inquiry that they should non, for assorted grounds, be taking these drugs: for them, it is perfectly normal behaviors, with their safety being protected and assured through purchasing their drugs of pick from friends ( see, besides, Sherlock and Conner, 1999 ) .

This easy, secure, entree to the drugs possibly explains the easiness and comfort with which respondents admit their drug pickings and utilize their drugs: for them, it is a natural, safe, thing to be making, a natural portion of their societal lives. Many of them do non oppugn the fact that they take drugs: it is every bit natural to them as any other portion of the life style they have chosen for themselves ( Duff, 2005 ) .

Jay ( 1999 ) looks at the issue of why immature people take recreational drugs, reasoning from the traditional medical model, which suggests that people take drugs because they become addicted to them and from a newer position, which suggests that people take drugs for pleasance ( see, besides, Parkeret al. ,1998 ) .

The latter hypothesis seems to do sense. It is, after all, the recreational drugs that give pleasance which accordingly, give fewer records of opprobrious behavior associated with them. The usage of recreational drugs for pleasance has even been noted in the carnal land ( Jay, 1999 ; see Siegel, 1989 ) .

As Jay ( 1999 ) further argues, embellished in this thought of pleasance being the chief motive for recreational drug usage is the fact that society has, in general, go more adventuresome and suiting as a whole. This general societal clime has led to the ambiance in which immature people grow up presuming experimentation with recreational drugs is acceptable behavior, going a portion of their formative old ages when they are organizing their ain individuality.

They, of class, recognize taking recreational drugs is illegal and potentially unsafe, but, as shown by Duff ( 2005 ) , they minimize the hazards by guaranting supply from trusted equals and go through off the illegality issue through mentions to greater, unpunished, offenses traveling on around them and the fact that alcohol – now legal – was besides illegal merely a few decennaries ago.

As such, the issues of drug usage being illegal is non truly a concern for them, as their drug usage is considered, by them, to be a normal portion of their lives, for which, if they keep it low-profile and at a personal degree, they are extremely improbable to be punished.

McCrystalet Al.( 2006 ) looks at drug usage patterns amongst 11 to 12 twelvemonth olds, happening that there are high degrees of drug usage in these ages of kids, many of whom appear to be otherwise ‘good’ pupils. These pupils use drugs for many and varied grounds, many of which are centred around pleasance seeking and alleviating ennui. Very few instances of equal force per unit area were reported.

Although there were suggestions that drug usage had become a normal happening amongst this group of kids, similar to other surveies already discussed ( such as Jay, 1999 and Duff, 2005 ) . Similar findings were reported by Bahoraet Al.( 2008 ) , who looked at ecstasy usage in the United States, reasoning that the usage of ecstasy amongst those surveyed was regarded as normal behavior, as something that ‘everyone does’ . Again, recreational drug usage is a manner of organizing one’s individuality ; of placing oneself with other recreational drugs users, of being accepted into that subdivision of society.

In decision, recreational drugs are used widely by young person across the universe, a big proportion of whom are assumed to be connected with the dance scene in some manner. That said, it is besides known that kids every bit immature as 11 or 12 are utilizing hemp on a regular footing ( see McCrystalet Al., 2006 ) , the ‘drug problem’ is non merely confined to clubbers. Many grounds have been put frontward as incentives of drug usage in this essay ; peer force per unit area, wonder about what effects the drugs will hold on them, a sense of belonging, to get by with jobs youth may be holding, for pleasance, for heightening creativeness and to get by with the aggression they feel inside themselves.

The different grounds mostly matching to the frequence with which drugs are used ( see Novaceket al. ,1991 ) . It has besides been seen that people have stated that they take drugs because it is considered normal to make so, is nil out of the ordinary, that ‘everyone does it’ and so, hence, them excessively ( see, for illustration, Duff, 2005 ) . Therefore, there are many and varied grounds as to why people start taking, and go on utilizing recreational drugs, all of which have a footing in hammering individuality.

Chapter 4

Consumption and Identity

Dunn ( 1999 ) argues that postmodernism has led to a displacement in the bases for individuality formation, something that itself,per Se,Markss the post-modern epoch. As Lyon ( 2000 ) so articulately phrases it: “ … we are receivers of amusement, shopping for a self.” ( Lyon, 2000, p.75 ) . Developments in information engineering and the ability to shop anyplace, any clip, hold reduced clip and infinite, intending that we now demand the ability to entree information in an blink of an eye.

Peoples are on demand “24/7” , taking to reconfigurations of how we view ourselves and our topographic point in the universe. We are in a universe which we feel we know much better, a universe which is virtually available at the touch of a button ( or the swish of a mouse ) , on demand. Information on anything anyone is interested in can be found immediately. Through this unfastened, instantaneous, procedure, we feel we are portion of a much larger civilization than our long-established, local egos.

For Lyon ( 2000 ) , in his book Jesus in Disneyland ; Religion in Post-Modern Times, it is a complex societal state of affairs in which some of the kineticss inherited from modernism are inherited and in which some are distorted beyond acknowledgment. For Lyon ( 2000 ) postmodernism has been defined by the development of information engineering and societal networking and the rise of consumerism. Information engineering has made the universe smaller, has made individualities more disconnected and consumerism has allowed us to show ourselves like ne’er earlier.

This procedure, whilst linking persons with more people, information and topographic points than of all time before, can intend that people become less affiliated with existent – physical, intimate, face-to-face, relationships, taking to societal isolation. McPhersonet Al.( 2001 ) showed, for illustration, that Americans have significantly less friends than they did two decennaries ago, with societal isolation increasing as a consequence of this.

However, McPherson and Smith-Lovin’s ( 1987 ) hypothesis of homophily – that friends are similar in character and individuality – still holds for ‘virtual’ friends. Members of on-line forums, for illustration, who become near over internet: similar people will ever band together, with people’s personal webs being homogenous with respects to many socio-demographic factors and interpersonal features ( see McPhersonet al. ,2001 ) .

“The times they are a-changing” American ginseng Bob Dylan, and nowhere is that truer than now, where kids plug themselves in to their iPods, downloading music as they wish, accessing information on the cyberspace as and when they desire. It is possible to now parcel the universe into distinct pockets, harmonizing to your ain desires.

Technology has allowed persons the pick of how, and when, they want to pass on, shuting off from other commuters with an iPod, sharing common musical gustatory sensations with cyber-friends, once more through the iPod, fall ining in online forums if that is what they want to make. Choice is everyplace, pick is expected, as a cardinal right of this coevals.

Through pick, through the freedom of look that is about, through web logs, for illustration, and through online forums that are available for about any specialist involvement, from cyberspace sites like You Tube and My Space, persons can take who they want to interact with and when they want to interact with them.

For many immature individuals, this ‘artificial’ , cyber life,istheir life. It may non be a life that would be recognizable to their grandparents, nor even understood by their parents, but that is their world. They choose to populate like that, keeping multiple narrations with persons they have actively chosen to pass on with.

Social isolation is non a concern for these persons: they drive their ain tract through their lives, interacting with whom they want to interact, when they want to interact, eschewing physical relationships in favor of what they consider to be more meaningful practical relationships.

Persons are choosing out of physical interactions with people they don’t want to interact with ( neighbors, commuters etc ) in favor of their ain universe, through their earphones, for illustration, connected to their iPod, whilst out and approximately. At place they immerse themselves in on-line communities, such as SecondLife or any of the figure of specialist online forums dedicated to their involvements.

Technology has enabled people to hold the pick of how and when to interact with others, authorising persons to order how their life flows, at the gait they want it to flux. Many people argue that devices such as iPods and online forums are societal minimisers, but postmodernism would, possibly, label them enablers: enablers of multiple narrations, for illustration.

As users of SecondLife would reason, societal interaction does happen in SecondLife, merely ‘not as we know it’ , i.e. , in a different, pixilated, format. Possibly SecondLife is the perfect post-modern environment: a ‘meta-verse’ , a universe leting coincident, multiple, narrations.

Identity, as a construct, can be defined by consumerism ( Dunn, 1999 ) , with the supplanting of societal dealingss by trade goods holding two effects. First, consumer civilization is the primary agencies through which ego is constructed and secondly, the corporate individualities of category, gender, race, gender and ethnicity, along with conventional, institutionalized, societal functions are weakened or replaced by more individualized, fluid, ‘lifestyle’ individualities, that are constructed in relation to consumer goods, mass media images and fictional media characters ( Dunn, 1999, p.67 ) . In this postmodern scenario, relationships are weakened and the definition of ‘self’ comes to trust on an appropriation of the properties of trade goods ( Dunn, 1999, p.67 ) .

The modern position of the ego, as an integrated societal construct, has therefore become replaced by a loose sum of personality traits that have been assembled through the procedure of devouring goods and images.

The dislocation of individuality formation from societal functions to a packaged universe of mass civilization is viewed as a dislocation in the socialization procedure which, in bend, leads to the state of affairs in which media systems undermine the authorization of the traditional socialization agents, go forthing the single adrift in a universe of commercialized distractions ( Dunn, 1999, p.67 ) .

As Croghanet Al.( 2006 ) suggest, ingestion is cardinal to the building of stripling individualities, with ingestion, manner and individuality being linked and manner being a important agency of prolonging and specifying both single individuality and besides group boundaries. Failure to adhere to such manner boundaries leads to manner failure, with desperate effects for the societal life of striplings, through societal exclusion and position loss ( Croghanet al. ,2006 ) .

Bovone ( 2006 ) looks at the issue of postmodern individuality and the transmutation of manner, reasoning that the relationship between apparels and individuality is portion of the larger postmodern set of ideals. As Bovone ( 2006 ) argues, precise vesture differentiations, that were traditionally anchored to societal category and socio-economic position, are going a thing of the yesteryear: the disconnected post-modern ideal, and the deficiency of shared theoretical accounts is taking to the usage of vesture as off in which to pass on to others one’s non-exclusive individuality.

As Bovone’s work ( 2006 ) shows, the production and ingestion of civilization is altering, no longer the homogenizing force it one time was, with cultural atomization and dispersion going dominant, taking to persons showing their ain individualities in insurgent ways ( Dunn, 1999 ) . Postmodernism ushered in a period in which the perpetually altering market place of goods and images offers personal freedom, of look, and the pick to place oneself within a scope of possible ‘selves’ .

As Dunn ( 1999 ) argues, the postmodern has replaced the thought of ‘self-realisation’ , which pre-supposed some kind of life-time fate, with ‘experimental self-creation’ in the Nietzschean sense. Within this, nevertheless, persons are expected to bring forth new self-images all the clip, in response to the ever-changing landscapes environing them.

Consumerism allows mutable look of one’s fluid ego, through the buying of objects that allow one’s ego to be expressed. Consumerism provides an sphere of witting experimentation and pick in the building and amplification of individuality ( see Dunn, 1999, p.68 ) .

This has been made possible through the rise of the consumerist society, and the commercial co-option of new cultural attitudes and values, taking to this postmodern epoch being labelled ‘hedonistic’ and ‘the epoch of self-fulfilment’ ( Dunn, 1999 ) . Consumerism has pluralized manner, supplying multiple possibilities for the presentation of personal manner, either in the signifier of separately constructed lifestyle-based individualities or as portion of lifestyle designation with different corporate groups and classs ( Dunn, 1999 ) .

Consumer civilization allows fresh individualities to be constructed: either mass-marketed individualities or individualized buildings of manner, through the cleavage of markets and the usage of gross revenues schemes that target clients with specialized gustatory sensations ( Dunn, 1999 ) .

The trade good has therefore become a vehicle for developing more to the full one’s sense of ego, with trade goods being used, non as instruments of use that distort one’s sense of ego but as outward identifiers of self-formation and self-fulfillment. This is, nevertheless, all within the context of ‘mass culture’ being run by a few monolithic companies, who control the media channels and supply a corporate-led footing to postmodern society. Therefore, consumer-based individuality is non pure individuality but instead a pale imitation of reliable individuality, based non on the values of accomplishment and dignity but the appropriation of trade goods as ways in which to show one’s ego within a corporate model.

A back-lash to this corporate model is the development of the alleged handmade motion, as witnessed by the popularity of Etsy ( ) , a topographic point in which creative persons and trades people can sell their handmade points. However, postmodern mass civilization is still really much based on mass media run by corporations. A great trade of people’s sense of individualities, for illustration, relies on the telecasting, which reinforces the thought of consumer civilization ( through advertisement utilizing this media ) and which democratises gustatory sensation and societal dealingss ( Dunn, 1999 ) .

Television, whilst dependant on stereotyping and ritualisation to acquire its message across, is the site of intersection of multiple societal and cultural findings, a site of multiple messages with intersecting genres, images, manners and experiences. There is, hence, heterogeneousness of telecasting civilization, which can supply fuel for the parametric quantities of self experience and individuality formation. Indeed, telecasting was the first mass media format to make a broad scope of people, globally, and to promote people to research thoughts of ego and individuality.

Gauntlett ( 2002 ) discusses the influence of telecasting on individuality, from the point of view of Giddens’ that we are in a period of late modernness, non yet at a to the full post-modern phase, in which the function of tradition is worsening and where individualities are fluid. As Gauntlett ( 2002 ) argues, there are now picks presented to persons, daily, sing ‘ways of living’ . This is translated into the fact that persons have to confront up to these determinations daily, are forced to measure the ways in which they are populating daily, with every new onslaught on their sense of ego.

As Gauntlett ( 2002 ) argues, the rise of ‘Girl Power’ with the Spice Girls, delineated, through labelling, with ‘Posh’ , ‘Baby’ , ‘Scary’ was finally postmodern and challenged people to specify their ain individualities. In the postmodern universe, nevertheless, persons are non inactive consumers of engineering and selling. Persons use the props they gain from telecasting, magazines and popular civilization in general, as resources which persons use as mention points, to believe through their ain sense of ego and possible manners of look of this sense of ego ( Gauntlett, 2002, p.256 ) .

As Giddens argues, in the post-traditional order ( he does non acknowledge we are in a post-modern epoch, instead late modernism ) , self-identity is a automatic undertaking, and enterprise on which we are continually working and continually reflecting upon ( Giddens, 1990 ; Gauntlett, 2002 ) .

In this scenario, argues Giddens ( 1990 ) , persons are continually making, keeping and revising a set of narrations to depict our ain lives and our place in the universe. Self-identity, under this scenario, is therefore non a set of traits or features that could be observed but, instead, a person’s ain automatic apprehension of their ain life ( Giddens, 1991, p.53 ) . As Giddens ( 1991, p.54 ) provinces, “A person’s individuality is non to be found in behavior non in the reactions of others but in the capacity to maintain a narrative traveling.

The individual’s life, if she is to keep regular interaction with others in the daily universe, can non be entirely assumed ; … it must continually incorporate events which occur in the external universe and screen them in to an ongoing narrative about the self” ( see Gauntlett, 2002 ) . As Giddens ( 1991 ) argues, in this post-traditional society, our function is non defined for us, persons have to specify it for themselves, “What to make? How to move? Who to be? These are focal inquiries for everyone life in fortunes of late modernness – and 1s which, on some degree, all of us answer, either ramblingly or through daily societal behaviour.” ( Giddens, 1991, p.70 ) .

Therefore, consumerism is a fact. We live in a consumerist society, which offers us the opportunity for multiple narrations to be developed, maintained and changed at will, as fortunes require. This fluidness in the construct of ego and in the procedure of individuality formation is a really postmodern phenomenon, with such multiple narrations being upheld through consumerism, of trade goods such as consumer wares, or of aggregate media, either through telecasting, magazines or other popular civilization formats.

This atmosphere nowadayss persons with a assortment of lifestyle formats and picks. Lifestyles moving like genre, to supply a background for one’s ain peculiar trade name of consumerism, taking to one’s ain peculiar trade name of individuality through the building, in the Giddenian sense of the automatic ego, of our ain narrations, stating the narrative of who we are and how we got here.

Chapter 5

Globalization and Identity

Globalisation is an umbrella term that is used to depict increasing planetary connectivity and integrating and besides mutuality in economic, societal, technological, cultural and political domains. Singer’s 2002 book One Universe: The Effectss of Globalisationshows the ethical effects, and the effects for impressions of ego, of national boundary lines and state-centrism blurring, intending that persons progressively come to portion one, the same, universe. Singer ( 2002 ) argues that this decentalisation of the world’s markets and drivers, and the building of this new, entirely planetary society, makes them mutualist, representing the footing for an wholly new moral principle.

This new moral principle, harmonizing to Singer ( 2002 ) , accommodates the involvements of everyone life on the planet, non merely those choice few who happen to be lucky plenty to populate in the ‘developed’ universe, and to hold entree to everything they need. Singer ( 2002 ) argues that this new ethic is get downing to attest itself in society, and that, at no old point in history has such a truly planetary ethic been developed.

This ethic is manifested in the ways in which certain persons choose to talk out against planetary issues, such as free trade and planetary heating, as a manner in which to specify their ego. Their sense of individuality, their automatic narrative apprehension of their ain ego is as portion of this planetary motion.

Singer ( 2002 ) argues that a new moral doctrine demands to be developed that is no longer dependant on boundary lines but which is dependent on this thought of ‘one world’ . We can, through engineering, connect to anyone and anyplace we wish, and so, in some sense, the narrations of ego that are maintained are maintained in the cognition of our planetary place, our planetary duty.

Singer ( 2002 ) therefore argues for a alteration in how we view our moral duties across boundary lines, due to the procedure of globalization, reasoning that morality itself has become globalised, and that, as such, we need to see all citizens of the planet in our determinations, non merely merely those in our immediate milieus. This is, of class, a effect of our sense of egos being extended from our local environment to a more planetary context.

Globalization is by and large agreed to ensue in an increasing overall homogeneousness, and an addition in standardization, in wide footings, across the universe, due to the swapping of local concern and media by multinationals.

As Hall ( 1997 ) and Giddens ( 199 ) argue, this homogenising inclination leads to ‘crises of the self’ ( Hall, 1997 ) and to re-definitions of ego, on the footing of automatic narrations ( Giddens, 1990 ) . As Hall ( 1997 ) argues, in the freshly globalising universe, persons are both manufacturers and consumers of civilization at the same clip, taking to the state of affairs in which individuality is in crisis.

Old individualities, which stabilised the societal universe, are in diminution and new, disconnected, individualities are going prominent, taking to the ‘crisis of the individual’ , which Hall ( 1997 ) sees as portion of a wider procedure of alteration that is luxating the cardinal constructions and procedures of society, accordingly sabotaging the models that gave persons stable anchorage in the societal universe.

Giddens ( 1990 ) contends that as different countries of the Earth are drawn in to interconnectedness with one another, moving ridges of societal transmutation clang across the whole earth’s surface, altering the nature of modern establishments. These establishments so take on new signifiers and are organised on rather different rules, disembodying the societal infinite, raising dealingss out from the local contexts of interaction and reconstituting them across indefinite time-space dimensions ( Giddens, 1990 ) , taking to discontinuities.

“ … the transmutations involved in modernness are more profound than most kinds of alteration feature of anterior periods. On the extensional plane, we have served to set up signifiers of societal interconnectedness which span the Earth ; in knowing footings they have come to change some of our most intimate and personal characteristics of our daily existence.” ( Giddens, 1990, p.21 ) .

As Ernstet Al.( 2006 ) argue, civilization has, through the procedure of globalization and through the enabling force of engineering, made the universe smaller and more accessible, taking to civilizations unifying and traditions being swept off and finally, to the ‘bastardisation’ of civilizations. As Ernstet Al.( 2006 ) show in their cultural study, this ‘bastardisation’ does non take to a cover homogenization of civilization, but instead to different single responses to the effects of globalization.

They argue that the rise of the hand-crafted civilization is a response to globalization, that persons are showing themselves through their creativeness, something that is enabled, as ne’er before, in this technological universe in which 1 can purchase a laptop with adequate redacting package to be able to bring forth picture, music, high quality exposures and all mode of other programmes to enable creativeness and connection.

Ernstet Al.( 2006 ) therefore argue that, in malice of globalization looking to take to homogenization, a procedure of crises in individuality ( Hall, 1997 ) and an rating of an individual’s automatic narrations ( Giddens, 1990 ) , leads to an spring of creativeness and to the active production of ‘self’ through this creativeness. For Ernstet Al.( 2006 ) , hence, globalization in the postmodern universe, allows multiple narrations to be creatively developed, tested and upheld as and when desired. Globalisation is really, hence, actively taking to the creative activity of individualism ( Ernstet al. ,2006 ) .

Ruediger ( 2006 ) takes this statement farther, qualifying that ; “Globalization is non the job as such… The existent job is that civilizations lack the strength to cultivate and implement values outside of economic norms and widen their multinational range successfully. Globalization enhances a cultural crisis. “Culture” is non referred to here as a mere cultural subdivision, which offers an array of amusement from pure spectacle to modern free clip pleasances.

Simply put, civilization is a society-dependent, tradition-based, cognitive and value-building ritual and contemplation canon. It creates a committedness ( in attitude and behavior ) , to values… in respects to moralss and ethical motives… In persons, it besides creates the cognitive ability in covering with complexness, which is indispensable to the existential and personal hunt for individuality and freedom… ” ( Ruediger, 2006, p.157 ) .

Therefore, globalization, in this sense, is a force that inspires an enabling of the multiple narrative development of a sense of ego, through searching, creatively, for a sense of one’s ain individuality. The pick of apparels one wears, the pick of friends, the pick of books/blogs/magazines one reads, all of these can be freely made, from a planetary pool, in order to build a narrative for one’s sense of ego that is feasible for that person.

The globalization of thoughts, of information, has therefore been a great enabler of the post-modern development of ego individuality, in footings of opening up the figure of possible narrations and supplying grounds that alternate narrations are non merely possible, but besides desirable.

Therefore ; “One does non merely go an built-in portion of a given civilization, but instead tendencies and crazes decide on the cogency of a individual and give cogent evidence that one is capable of going integrated as an individual..In fact, we are receivers, members of consumer mark groups, who perform quasi-religious Acts of the Apostless of permutation in the name of cultural self-conception.” ( Ruediger, 2006, p.154 ) .

The globalised universe enables such autonomous engagement, as active Godheads of one’s ain individuality, where an person will ‘fit in’ someplace, due to the re-defining of societal infinite as a assortment of niches, all of which are unfastened for new members who have defined their automatic ego on the footing of that peculiar narration.

Chapter 6


This chapter will supply a reappraisal of the chief decisions of each old chapter and will so show a sum-up of decisions sing the issue of individuality formation in the postmodern universe.

In Chapter 1, postmodernity was discussed, and it was seen that postmodernism, can be defined as a reaction to modernism, as a province ( or complex set of provinces ) that lacks a clear organizing rule which embodies complexness, contradiction, ambiguity and interconnection.

It was seen that some faculty members question the presence of postmodernity, reasoning that postmodernism does non be. Giddens ( 1991 ) , for illustration, prefers to utilize the term ‘post-traditionalist’ to depict the province of society at the minute. Postmodernism is, to some, a universe position, whereas to others, it is little more than a ‘buzz word’ ( Hebdige, 2006 ) .

As was seen, Kirby ( 2006 ) argues that, following the rise of pseudo-modernism, postmodernism is dead, with other writers reasoning that postmodernism was ne’er a motion, instead merely “ … the unsmooth lineation of a set of self-referential ideals than a echt cultural movement.” ( Willis, 2007, p.44 ) .

Chapter 1 so moved on to inquire ‘what is individuality in a postmodern universe? ’ happening that, for many, individuality is now a fluid construct, an unfastened inquiry, a concept that is built as one moves along, harmonizing to one’s environment and one’s involvements and interactions: be these physical or practical. In a postmodern sense, the ego is switching, fluid, or as Berzonsky ( 2005 ) argues, individuality is dynamic, multiplistic, relativistic, context-specific and disconnected ( Berzonsky, 2005 ) . As Berzonsky ( 2005 ) argues, ego individuality may function as a manner in which persons reach out from a personal point of view in a fractured, postmodern universe.

Chapter 2 is the literature reappraisal and methodological analysis. The literature reappraisal was done utilizing both the cyberspace seeking for the relevant bibliographic databases and the beginnings of authorization. A list of the literature used is detailed in the References subdivision of this work.

This survey was conducted, utilizing a library/literature based attack method. No primary research was conducted to garner empirical informations. This was due to several factors including, deficient human resources and clip restraints. Furthermore, factors such as the extremely theoretical point of views, and at times sensitive nature of some of the subjects ( recreational drug ingestion ) explored in this survey, Lent considerable support to the proposed rightness of taking this peculiar research method in this case.

Chapter 3 looked at recreational drug pickings and the civilization that surrounds this fact. In decision, recreational drugs are used widely by young person, across the universe, particularly those connected with the dance scene in some manner, although it is known that kids every bit immature as 11 or 12 are utilizing hemp on a regular footing ( see McCrystalet Al., 2006 ) , and so the ‘drug problem’ is non merely confined to clubbers.

Chapter 4 looked at the issue of ingestion and individuality, reasoning that postmodernism has led to a displacement in the bases for individuality formation, something that itself,per Se,Markss the postmodern epoch. As Lyon ( 2000 ) puts it, we are receivers of amusement, shopping for a ego.

It is concluded that we live in a consumerist society, which offers us the opportunity for multiple narrations to be developed, maintained and changed at will, as fortunes dictate.

Chapter 5 looked at Globalisation and Identity. The globalised universe enables autonomous engagement as active Godheads of 1s ain individuality.

Persons are freer than of all time before to come in in to a automatic narrative procedure sing how they have created themselves and how they want to develop themselves in future. We can watch this automatic narrative procedure ( Giddens, 1991 ) about daily, as persons invariably create new ‘selves’ in the world Television programmes that bring us narratives of manque vocalists, famous persons, Entrepreneurs, terpsichoreans, and so on ( “Pop Idol” , “The Hills” , “The Apprentice” and “Dancing with the Stars, ” for illustration ) .

In many such programmes, we are shown inexpert persons, who are so taken through a procedure of development, taking to them going what they have ever wanted to be ( a vocalist, or a terpsichorean or a chef, and so on, depending on the peculiar programme ) . The whole of Giddens ‘ ( 1991 ) reflexive narrative theory is laid bare for viewing audiences.

These shows tell us that wecanreinvent ourselves, wecanclasp multiple narrations sing our sense of ‘self’ : it is at that place, for us to see, with our ain eyes! Possibly this is postmodernism in action, the creative activity of manufactured egos through the choosing of a tract through multiple possible narrations.

The universe has ne’er been so unfastened and information has ne’er flowed so freely: it is natural that individuality would be fluid in times such as these, where the possibilities are unfastened for anyone to organize any narrative they wish, in an environment where any narrative can happen a topographic point, physical or practical.

In drumhead ; self individuality and postmodernism is a complex issue, invariably being ( rhenium ) shaped by many factors, such as globalization and the subsequent loss of traditions that this procedure entails.


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