Disruptive Technologies

Course site for Disruptive Technologies. Exploring identity, community, & design.

[We] Identify as Disruptive Too

A person’s identity indicates something about them. As a set of social classifications, identity is created by viewing two or more people or groups in relation to one another (oneself is included). Identity  is a paradox in two ways.

First,  it is constantly in flux, but at the same time, suggests an ever-developing constant within a person. How someone chooses to identify his/herself (or someone else) can change over time; there can be momentary or long-term changes. For example:

  • Momentary: Role as friend takes precedence over role as student if a friend is in a car accident.
  • Long-Term: Gender or sexuality can fluctuate over time.

Second, a person’s understanding of their own identity affects the lens through which they view his/herself and others.


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  1. Chris Williams

    March 26, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I really like this take on identity. What does this definition say about people who post anonymously online?

    • That is a very good point! This applies to people who post anonymously as they are enacting their own chosen identity. Of course this type of posting makes it difficult for others to attribute an identity to these anonymous users. In some way, however, don’t we still compare them to what ourselves or others do? For example, you see them as “different” because they post anonymously–we have attributed some sort of “hidden” aspect to their chosen identity.

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