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Performing the self in a new cultural arena: An escape from turbulent times?

Woodiwiss, Jo (2011) Performing the self in a new cultural arena: An escape from turbulent times? In: The 10th European Sociological Association ESA Conference , 7th-10th September 2012, Geneva, Switzerland. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This paper will look at cultural constructions of the self
and identity. In particular it will explore the virtual worlds of the internet and the opportunities this offers to create new cultural
arenas' and' social' realities'where' the' self' can' be' (re)constructed,'
(re)presented' and'performed.' These'new' ‘virtual'worlds’' can'pro)
vide'a'haven'or'escape'from'turbulent'times,'as'well'as'a'connec)
tion'to'a'world'beyond'the'inner'self.'They'may'also'open'up'new'
possibilities'and'offer'new'ways'to'be'that'enable'an'exploration'or'
expression'of'other'personalities'or' aspects'of' the' self,'where'we'
can' draw' on' new' cultural' constructions' of' selfhood' that' include'
multiple' and' virtual' selves.' These' selves' may' commute' between'
‘real’'and'virtual'worlds,'but'might'also'be'confined'to'the'virtual.'
The'paper'draws'on' two' related' research'projects'which' share'an'
interest' in' the' ways' we' construct,' represent,' communicate' and'
negotiate'our'sense'of'self'(or'selves)')'which'in'the'21st'century'can'
involve' both' the' ‘real’' and' the' virtual.' One' project,' involving' in)
depth,' semi)structured' interviews,'explored'women’s'engagement'
with' narratives' of' childhood' sexual' abuse,' the' self' and' multiple'
personalities.' The' second' project' examined' online' communities'
(including'message'boards,'blogs'and' chat' rooms)' aimed' at' those'
who'believe'they'share'their'lives'with'more'than'one'self'or'per)
sonality.'Drawing'on'the'work'of'Hacking'(1995)'the'paper'will'ex)
amine'the'idea'that'the'virtual'offers'new'arenas'and'new'scripts'in'
which'to'be'(un)happy.'

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Applied Childhood Studies
School of Human and Health Sciences > Centre for Research in the Social Sciences
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Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2012 14:26
Last Modified: 02 Oct 2012 14:26
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/15261

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