Week Review 7

Week Review 7

Two courses in one semester – not only twice the work, but also twice the fun. Especially when activities on both courses intertwine. This is what I read:

“Being recognized as a certain “kind of person,” in a given context, is what I mean here by “identity”. In this sense of the term, all people have multiple identities connected not to their “internal states” but to their performance in society.” (Gee 2001, 99)

As our contexts, as communities change, we have different identities in different groups. These communities can now also be found online, as Lister points out. (Lister 2009)

And although Kozinets asks for a more complex analysis of our identities, he still clings to the concept of clustering:
“We need alternatives to the rather essentializing clustering of all members of online communities into a single category of membership or non-membership.” (Kozinets 2010, 133)

Already four years ago, working on my BA in Primary School Education at Humboldt-University Berlin, I opposed the idea of viewing individuals as having multiple identities or grouping them, as this leeds to biases in assessing the individual student.

Additionally, as individuals, we should not wear masks, thus adopting different identities behind which we can hide.

I funnily twittered about this, I engaged on MOODLEI (partly jokingly) adopted a different identity in my Ethnography. And I keep repeating myself:

We should be who we are wherever and whenever we are.


Gee, James Paul. 2001. “Identity as an Analytic Lens for Research in Education.” Review of Research in Education 25:99-125.
Kozinets, Robert V. 2010. Netnography : doing ethnographic research online. London: SAGE.
Lister, Martin. 2009. New media : a critical introduction. 2nd ed. ed. London: Routledge.

2 thoughts on “Week Review 7

  1. Hello Dirk, a nice synthesis of the literature here, particularly as it draws the influential work of Gee into our thinking around online community.

    Assuming you don’t need to show anyone else’s words, would it be possible to reproduce the content from your MOODLE conversation as I don’t have access to that forum? Either a screen shot or a cut-and-paste would do the job.

    ‘I (partly jokingly) adopted a different identity in my Ethnography.’

    Out of interest, in what way was this a different identity? I’m intrigued.

  2. Moodle: I started a discussion with this headline: “Let’s stop this multi-identity madness”. The thread has been going for weeks now. Broken down, this is what it is about: I believe (to know) that we as humans have one character (nature plus nurture etc). And I know we all play different roles at time. And I believe there is a lot of harm and confusoin caused by playing roles, so we should not do it. Others on the course and a number of scientists believe, however, that playing roles is good and that we even have different identities. I oppose this, both scientifically and philosophically and ethically. My thesis is basically Kant’s Categorical Imperative combined with Psychology and Neuroscience.

    The “identity” in the ethnography: Well it is the identity in the video (the old school lecturer) and nothing I did in the Mooc itself – I would have had ethical issues fooling others in the Mooc, even without anybody else being there…

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