2010 Abstracts Stage 3

What Are the Reasons Behind the Perceived Loss of Identity Prevalent in Today’s Society? Could this Loss of Identity Be the Reason Behind the Increase in Subcultures and Gangs?

Territory- Gang culture

Aim- In my investigation I wanted to see how the change in individual identity has impacted society today. By analysing this change I found that identity today appears to be fragmented. This is due to the breakup of the tight nuclear family which was found in previous eras and the lack of moral rule systems available to the individual today. This has clearly impacted the youth of Britain and has resulted in the rise of gang violence.

I have used both Beck and Giddens to highlight the impact of modernity on society as well as to further discuss the implications of identity fragmentation. I used both of these philosophers to shed new light on my territory which is gang culture amongst the youth of the UK today. By using both of these philosophers I hope to have drawn a direct link between identity fragmentation and the increase in gang violence prevalent in modern day society. This certainly paints a bleak picture of the UK today.

2005 Abstracts Stage 2

The Fragility of Identity and the Individual

Territory: The picture here shows a detail of one of the feature pyramids of the Kostnice Sedlec Ossuary in Kutna Hora, near Prague. The Ossuary contains a jar of earth reportedly from Golgotha, and important Christian site, making the chapel an extremely popular place to bury loved ones. Over-population of the graveyard led to the creation of the Ossuary in 1511. Initial Aims: The Sedlec Ossuary has left a lasting impression on me and I wanted to sort out for myself why it had the impact it did. This helped me to generate a list of basic questions to answer, some of which were: ▫ How much is identity an abstract concept? To what extent is it bound up in our bodies? ▫ Do most people experience a crisis of identity as some philosophers believe (eg Sartre’s crisis of the enormity of our freedom) or is it only provoked by trauma? ▫ How rigid is our personal identity? Is identity purely conscious or can our identity remain even if we do not? ▫ Are we alienated from our bodies or united with them through our identity? ▫ How does identity work in a social situation? Key Concepts and Philosophical Models: The most obvious key concepts are identity and the mind/body divide. My chosen philosophers as key thinkers and their works are: ▫ Hegel: The Phenomenology of Spirit ▫ Beck & Beck-Gernsheim: Individualization Basic Overview: ▫ Hegel: Use and abuse of the master/slave relationship. ▫ Beck & Beck-Gernsheim: Individualization as a concept is self-perpetuating.

2005 Abstracts Stage 3

Is Postmodernity Hyperreal?

Objectives: How much is our present day society increasingly reliant on simulations for its reality? What affect does this have with regards to the individual and society as a whole? Method: I will look at how far society is controlled by mediations with regard to the television for example, as our main source of gaining knowledge about the world, and how this leads to the notion of risk society and the current climate of obsessive individualisation. My main aims are to explore the outcomes of simulations in postmodernity with regard to the importance of the image and the increasing occurrence of territorialisation, particularly in everyday activities such as the foods that we eat and the goods which we consume. Sources: Ulrich Beck, Risk Society, Jean Baudrillard, Simulacra and Simulations, David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity, George Ritzer, The McDonaldization Thesis, Don Delillo, White Noise.