2022 Abstracts Stage 3

Netflix – building a sense of one’s identity and whether algorithms reduce agency and so limit you in building a sense of identity?

My project concerns Netflix. I will investigate whether Netflix as a streaming platform can aid in building a sense of identity. Then consider whether the platforms use of recommender systems and machine learning algorithms are in fact reducing one’s agency. Limited agency suggests limited identity, as freedom of choice is reduced. I will consider Bauman, Le Bon and Sartre within this project discussion and through careful analysis, conclude that Netflix aids building identity to an extent, however, the platforms increasing use of algorithms reduces agency and so limits an individual when building a sense of identity.

2022 Abstracts Stage 3

Technology, neo-Nazis and Bauman

Zygmunt Bauman’s interesting philosophy of modernity and identity offers a great account of people’s fluid identities in contemporary times. Technology has evolved the way we identify with others as worldwide connections have brought people so much closer together. However, this technologically advanced world is hindered by the dark reality that neo-Nazi groups can operate and radicalise online. Thus, they must be combatted.

2022 Abstracts Stage 3

A philosophical investigation into the effect of precarious work on identity construction and formation in post-modern capitalist society.

An investigation into the effects of non-creative and creative precarious work on identity formation in post modern society, looking at these two kinds of work and how they can be seen to corrode or consolidate people’s views of themselves, through an analysis of the work of Bauman, Taylor, Sennett, Virno, and Marx.

2022 Abstracts Stage 3

An Exploration of Personal Identity in Contemporary (20th and 21st Century) Film and Television

What is it to be a Self?
• My objective is to explore personal identity by using film and television as thought experiments. I want to further my own understanding of my ‘self’, as well as that of others around me.
• Body theory: Our personal identity persists because we have the same body from birth until death. Challenged by ‘Star Trek’ Transporter thought experiment.
• Soul theory: The soul houses our identity, supported by Plato and René Descartes. Challenged by films such as ‘Still Allice’, how does Alzheimer’s damage the soul?
• Memory theory/ psychological continuity: John Locke’s Memory Theory. We have memory links to different stages in our lives, and they are all connected. Films such as ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Blade Runner’ call into question the role false memories can have in shaping our personal identities.
Society and the Self
• Zygmunt Bauman: Timeline of personal identity. We are in Liquid Modern Times, technology dictates personal identity. Explored in films such as ‘The Social Network’ and ‘Her’.
• Friedrich Nietzsche: Flux, we are in a constant state of becoming, so there is no fixed self that persists through time. Christian values of the past should be rejected, instead we should practise Amor Fati.
• Fixed identity: Exists in the Pre-modern Era and in Social Frameworks, i.e. institutions such as the Christian Church. Patrick Bateman in ‘American Psycho’ undergoes an identity crisis in response to the fixities in his life.
• Fluid identity: The transition from Walter White to Heisenberg in Breaking Bad is fluid identity in action. Supported by Bauman and Nietzsche, as it can make for a more tolerant society. However, lacking a solid sense of self can be dangerous.

2013 Abstracts Stage 3

Identity in the Face of Our Modern Digitalised Society

For my project, I researched into the way the internet, particularly social networking sites such as Facebook and Second Life, have impacted on the contemporary project of self-identity. Does the virtual world encourage us to maintain our real identity, or instead create artificial and fake identities? From this, I looked at how the internet and virtual identities are used as a means of control and power over others. The internet is so readily available to everyone in our modern world, and people are beginning to communicate with strangers online, yet unable to determine who their real identity actually is.

BAUMAN – his concept of ‘Liquid Modernity’ and how this has affected our self-identity.

GIDDENS – his theory of ‘Reflexive Modernity’ and how it has caused individuals to engage in a reflexive project of the self. Identity as reflexive and fluid.

ADORNO – his philosophy on the ‘Culture Industry’. The ‘reification’ of language and concept of ‘identity thinking’.

HEIDEGGER – the concepts of ‘authenticity and inauthenticity. The understanding of human life as finite – the internet allows identity to extend into the infinite.

– The historical development of Identity. Looking at how it has changed since our digitalised society
– Identity as the process of ‘becoming’ not simply ‘being’
– The Real vs the Artificial ( the real world vs the virtual world) (the real self vs the protean/virtual self)
– Authentic identity vs inauthentic identity
– The virtual world as infinite vs the finitude of the real human body
– Power and manipulation of online identity
– The issue of trust