Tag Archives: Identity

Topic 2.2 Community and Identity

What does it mean to belong to a community? How do you know you belong?


For me belonging to a community is that sense of validation and support. I belong to several communities, such as the Latino community where other Spanish speaking people get together to talk about what is going on in Latin America in Spanish and feel the support of other like minded people who share the same culture. I also belong to the Ipswich Library community where people get together online and offline to talk about books and other Library services. Then there’s my Facebook community comprised of family, friends, co-workers and fellow students, where we share comments, photos, games and other computer related applications. And finally, I belong to the university community which may include up to three or four different universities depending on how many units I am enrolled in. Community for me is not about being present physically, rather it is about participation. (Galley, et al 2012, 6).


When I began to participate in the many different communities, whether they were online or offline, then I knew that I belonged. I began to care enough to have a say and to contribute content and give advice where needed. I believe that you know you belong when you start communicating with others in your community, how you communicate and how often is just as important. (Galley, et al 2012, 9). Being mindful of others around you and showing consideration is what being part of a community is all about.


Galley, R., Conole, G., Panagiota, A. (2012). Community indicators: a framework for observing and supporting community activity on Cloudworks. Interactive Learning Environments. 1, 1-23.


What is the difference – if any – between a ‘real’ community and a virtual community?


I really don’t think there is difference between what I term as online community and an offline community. In my other post I stated that to belong to a community, one must participate, regardless of physicality. For example, on the Facebook group page, students offer help, advice, and levity to others. It is a place to go to when I have questions that might not necessarily have to do with studies. Likewise, with my offline communities, I can go and have a chat to my friends and relatives, ask for advice, grab a cup of coffee or share good-natured gossip. I believe that Dr Wu (2010) said it best when he purports that having the two types of communities along side, rather than one replacing the other (particularly the virtual over the ‘real’) will ensure you have that balance.


Wu, M. (2010). Virtual vs. in Real Life: The Value of Relationship Perspective. Lithospehere. Blog Post. Retrieved April18, 2013, from


Who are you – yes YOU? How do you compose yourself online and offline? Is there any difference?


Generally, there is not a lot of difference. I type a lot because I talk a lot. I am a chatterbox! However, I tend to try harder when I’m commenting on Facebook because I would like to be seen as witty and clever, when the sad reality is that I’m not. At the moment, only my kids laugh at my jokes! I’m a nerd and proud of it, so I make lots of references to Sci-Fi flicks… “These are not the droids you are looking for.”


I’m not as open on BB because I believe there’s a time and place, and this is a place of learning. The same goes for Facebook groups, although I’m more relaxed there. Like many others I’m very private when it comes to personal stuff, so I’m constantly checking security on Facebook. Only my friends can see photos of kids for example, so I only have good friends added to my Facebook as well as family. As a Christian I tend not to swear or write crude jokes, so I don’t have to censor myself.


I believe that if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all, and the same goes for commenting on any social networking site. This keeps me out of trouble, I think.


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Posted by on 04/18/2013 in NET102


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Week Ten part 2

Simon Blond Lecture wk10


Globalisation and identity in art practice


Part 1: Globalization


* As a result of:


Increased migration

Multinational corporations

Increased communications

The world wide web


There is a much greater degree of shared culture between all nations: a “global village” (Marshall McLuhan 1960’s).


The Downside of Globalization


Whereas there is much to be gained from the multicultural condition of most societies there has also been a loss:


  1. Because it has meant the dilution or even disappearance of local culture;
  2. Because it has not been an equal exchange of culture. Some countries have dominated in what some people see as “cultural imperiaslism”.




  • From the word ‘empire’.
  • The practice of nations that aim to extend their boundaries into new territories, dominating them through the process of colonization. (Sturken & Cartwright p445).


Imperialism 2


  • Such territorial colonialism was always based on theories and attitudes that placed the culture of the colonizing power as superior to that of the indigenous culture.
  • As a result the indigenous culture became deliberately downgraded as being of lesser value or even of no values (in Australian history) compared with that of the colonial power.


Aim and Excuse of Colonialism


The aim was to increase the power and wealth of the colonizing country. The excuse was to 1, redeem (save) by converting to Christianity and 2, to civilize the indigenous population.


Edward Said: Orientalism 1978


  • A study in Western attitudes to the Middle East and to Islam in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Although European culture tended to be fascinated with eastern culture because it was “exotic” it also characterized the orient as being essentially other, alien and inferior.
  • Although fascinated by the orient, European culture also saw it in simplistic (shallow) terms, refusing to engage with the complexities and subtleties of reality, preferring instead to deal with stereotypical characterization.
  • Eg Arabs are on the whole lazy and sexual licentious (because of the idea of harems – even though these were specifically forbidden by Islam).


Still of The Slave Market by Gerome c1880


A fictionalized fantasy based on the painter’s imagination. The main slave trade has been conducted by the British until its abolition by William Wilberforce in 1803, although slavery remained legal until 1833 and in USA until 1865. Sexual slavery was present in the middle east of black women from Africa. The substitution of a white woman by Gerome is a lie he tells to promote interest and indignation. It promotes a false idea of the Orient as being other to Christian Europe.


Cultural Imperialism


The age of territorial imperialism (colonization) has largely passed. We are now in an age of cultural imperialism in which the most powerful nations extend their influence by exporting their popular culture. The USA is the most obvious example of this through its TV and film products and commodities such as Coke and MacDonalds.


Effect of MacDonalds in diluting local food culture


  • Part of cultural identity is often tied up with food, particularly in countries that have maintained their cultural roots such as India, Japan, Indonesia, etc.
  • Traditional food also offers a wide and varied healthy diet in contrast with the Mac which is high in starch and fat.


The downside of Coke 1


Communities across India living around Coca-Cola’s bottling plants are experiencing severe water shortages, directly as a result of massive extractions of water from the common groundwater resource. In some cases wells have run dry and the hand water pumps don’t work any more.


Still images of MacDonalds in India and Japan, still image of Coke in Indonesia.


The downside of Coke 2


Coke advertising establishes a need that did not previously exist when everyone drank water or tea. This puts stress on family budgets and is also injurious to health both in terms of tooth decay and obesity.


Cildo Meireles b1948, a Brazilian conceptual artist. Still image of Insertions into Ideological Circuits 1970 (Tate Modern) Coke bottles and bank notes.


Still image of Missions (How to Build Cathedrals) 1987, 2000 bones, 600,000 coins, 800 communion wafers. It commemorates the seven missions founded by the Jesuits 1610-1767


“I wanted to construct something that would be a kind of mathematical equation, very simple and direct, connecting three elements.”


  • Exploitation of wealth
  • Religious power of the Church
  • The human cost (death)


Part 2: Identity: the way an individual or group defines themselves


  • As a human being
  • Sex and gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religious/agnostic/aetheistic beliefs
  • Nationality/race: 1. land 2. culture
  • Age group/cultural group
  • Individuality: the specificity of body image and biographical memory unique to yourself.


The Humanism Subject


The subject (person or individual) theorized from Renaissance to late 19th C Modernism, is essentially unified, fixed (by class or gender).


The Restrictive Nature of Representation for Women


Traditional representation was very restrictive in that the roles and positions depicted varied within a very narrow range of possibilities. This was especially so for women.



Female Gender stereotypes


  • Chaste maiden
  • Victim to be rescued
  • Desirable body
  • Mother
  • Bad Woman


Still of Gherardo di Giovanni Delfora The Combat of Love and Chastity 1475 (National Gallery London).


Still of Uccello St George 1455 – woman as victim to be rescued (National Gallery London).


Cranach Venus and Cupid 1524 – woman as object of male desire


Francois Clouet Diane de Poitiers 1571 – mother


Paula Modersohn-Becker Mother with Child 1907


Massacio The Expulsion 1429 – the bad woman


Leopold Egg, Past and Preset 1858 – the fallen woman


The Fixed Nature of the Humanist Subject


  • Women were restricted by gender
  • Men were restricted by class but had a much greater degree of freedom


The Splitting of the Subject


Freud split the subject into the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. As a result the unitary subject was no longer a possibility.


Multiple Subjectivity of Postmodernism


The fixed and unitary nature of the position a subject takes up in society was challenged by the adoption of multiple subjectivities:


Identity could be seen as performance. In this view we can adopt different subject positions not only with regard to how we respond to a film or image but also in terms of how we project ourselves to the outside world.


Madonna is a good example of someone who likes to change her identity when performing. Another example is Japanese Cosplay.


Uniqueness of Individual biography


Eg, Frida Kahlo 1907-54 Mexican painter


The accident 1926

The Broken Column 1944

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera 1931

The Two Fridas 1939

Henry Ford Hospital 1932


Hybridity of Identity


Used to describe identity that has a mixed origin in more than one culture or ethnicity.

Still of Tracy Moffatt’s Something More 1989.




Whereas the effects of globalization have largely been to dilute cultural specificity, with its attendant advantages and disadvantages, artists and designers have resisted this by the exploration and defining of their own identity in their art and designs.


In particular if their identities are in question, like their sexuality, origin, etc. These artist or designers will look at these issues in their work.

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Posted by on 08/07/2011 in HUM100


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