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On the Move: Performativity, Identity and Cultural Practice in Digital Culture

Fatma Sagir (Albert-Ludwigs-Universit├Ąt Freiburg)
Gisela Zimmermann (Universit├Ąt Freiburg)
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Short abstract:

Mobilitiy appears effortless in digital culture. With the emergence of new media practices, the performativity of the self, cultural practice and identity formation are in transformation. This panel explores how digital culture changes social norms and evolves our research practice.

Long abstract:

The performativity of the self is in transformation through new practices of presenting and representing the self, such as the selfie and other technology-based opportunities that enables to upload images and videos of oneself to a social media platform such as Instagram or YouTube. However, long before social media, Sherry B. Turkle's The Second Self (1984) explored the question how computers and technology change our view of ourselves by recognising computers had begun to shape our social lives. Today, not only our attitude towards technology has profoundly changed but also our understanding and presentation of ourselves in digital culture is shifting. Social Media has become an archive of human knowledge including discourse and development on every aspect of our lives while offering visibility, on-screen diversity and representation to those underrepresented or ignored by traditional media or society in general. Digital culture offers a tool and a space to position the user's image, their imagination of the present, the past and the future, to arrange elements of everyday life as if props for the performance of selves. This panel seeks to explore questions such as: How does digital culture effect the performativity of the self? Does mobility in digital culture lead to changes in habitus, social norms and cultural practices? How does methodology and field-work evolve through digital culture? We welcome paper presentations (15-20 min) from different fields and disciplines. We are open to a variety of methods, theoretical approaches and topics.

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