Final Project for Pedagogy & Dissent by Laura Bestler-Wilcox

The Final Piece: Searching: Online Identity Work

Searching: Online Identity Work

Laura Bestler-Wilcox

615C HGED: Annotated Bibliography

Iowa State University

May 1, 2008

Project Summary

My final project will be a computer graphic piece which explores my personal transformation. This transformation occurred while discovering how traditional aged undergraduate students search to express the intersections and complexities of their self-identities via online social networks. Finding the ways in which students do identity work and interact with each other through their transformations. The social justice within this work delves into how students’ see their positions within society, and the way in which they portray themselves. The majority of my semester experience has created more ideas. I am learning from my journey which will help me to tell a stronger story in my scholarly projects.

I am experiencing similar challenges as anyone does finding their place in society. It is a tiring time. I personally have experienced mind trips in social justice discussions. I come home from class and work with my brain hurting to the point of migraine. I am struggling to grasp the next phase in my academic journeys. I am struggling to put an identity on my work, when I am still finding which direction I will be heading in the academe. Do I need to have an identity? Do I need to have a solid footing in one direction or another? Am I able to create inter-identity which meets my needs? Would this identity exist in a third space or is it a part of my whole being? When traditional aged undergraduates are doing identity work – are they experiencing similar transformations – or is the fluidity normal for them to experience?

I have found some guidance with respect to these questions within the annotated bibliography notated below. I hope the information accouters you with a resource for future interest in online society and how it impacts the world.

Annotated Bibliography

Anzaldúa, G. (1987). Borderlands/La Frontera: The new mestiza. San Francisco: Spinsters/Aunt Lude.

The author shares a personal journey expressive with poems, anecdotes, and discovery of a third space. The third space provides strength and individuality to identify multiple identities in self-reflection. This book is deep with words of wisdom, oppression, and identity work. It is a respectful representation of how strength is found through the transformational learning found in identity work.

Barlow, J. (1996). A Declaration of independence of cyberspace. Retrieved on April 17, 2008 from Davos, Switzerland. This short manifesto describes the freedom of the internet prior to the explosion of self-expression in mainstream use.

Buckingham, D. (Ed.). (2008). Youth, identity,, and digita media. Massachusetts: M.I.T. (Published under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work Unported 3.0). This edited book features the space in which youth present themselves, the importance of participation from the masses, and the active engagement occurring with or without direction. Youth are constructing their social identities via online networks, and collectivity. Each chapter presenting knowledge based upon observation, conversations, and data. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning provide a broad perspective on how media is shaping our world.

Downes, D. (2005). Interactive realism. Québec: McGill-Queen’s University Press. The author writes a methodological interpretive theory describing the social construction of the online community. The text frames how human interaction is constructed via computer-mediated communication. This book is divisive with respect to internet accessibility and how the world view held within online words and imagines.

Everett, A. (Ed.). (2008). Learning race and ethnicity: Youth and digital media. Massachusetts: M.I.T. (Published under Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Work Unported 3.0. This volume demonstrates how the online world is a place for underrepresented youth today to speak their words, share their stories, and help bring democracy to the generational masses. Each chapter utilizing varying methodological techniques to record what has happened or is happening within the online world. Collaboration between youth, and the messages shared is a strong theme throughout the book. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning provides a broad perspective on how media is shaping our world.

Fine, A. (2006). Momentum: Igniting social change in the connected age. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. The main theme is how to organize and connect people utilizing the current communications tools to reach an organizational goal. The author has multiple examples and demonstrates them via short case studies. Simple to read, and somewhat common sense oriented, the book brings light to the current opportunities found in online social networking, cell phones, etc.

Foster, A. (2007, June). Virtual worlds as social-science labs. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Section: Information Technology. 53 (44). p. A25. Retrieved on March 19, 2008 from This is an observational editorial with respect to online communities, human interactions, and how society may be reflected within the virtual world.

Hannula, M. (2001). Third space – a merry-go-round of opportunity. Retrieved on April 8, 2008 from Short and abstract discussion about how a third space provides room for identity engagement, a
nd development. The author describes the third space as a world with no rules, no guidelines, and only opportunities for self-expression. The third space is a part of the person, and not necessarily a separate boundary altogether within its context.

Howard, P.N. & Jones, S. (2004). Society online: The internet in context. Thousands Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

The editors have assembled a timely anthology of the internet and the way in which it is used in current practice. This book does not sugar coat the online world challenge; it does show progresses and elements which may provide societal frameworks. Literacy, politics, relationships, race, media, and faith are all themes found within the context of Society Online readings.

Lin, C. A., & Atkin, D. J. (Eds.). (2007). Communication technology and social change: Theory and implications. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Computer mediated-communication is discussed at length with respect to its history, impact, and societal observations. The authors deconstruct how technology impacts societal values, social justice, and how it may hinder and/or help communication. Each chapter is authored by well-versed knowledgeable person with respect to the various empirical issues surrounding technology.

Miller, C. (1978). Technology as a form of consciousness: A study of contemporary ethos. Central States Speech Journal 29 (Winter 1978): pp. 228–236. Retrieved on April 28, 2008 from A complex view on how technology shapes identity through the open systems of the world. Where technology may be shaped in a nimble fashion, reality may not be moved as quickly in the process. The author sees technology as a philosophy and not a closed system for wisdom making. This piece is prolific with respect to how society views technology today.

Nakamura, L. (2008). Digitizing race: Visual cultures of the internet. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. This well-timed book is an in depth look at how online society portrays, and gives the tools for self-expression with respect to the culture of race. The author discusses who is shaping these identities, how they are being shaped, and the importance of meaningful online collaborations with respect to race and culture. This book extends the discussions of racial identities, and how society respects or denies the individuals’ perspectives.

Nakamura, L. (2002). Cybertypes: Race, ethnicity, and identity on the internet. New York, NY: Routledge. The author examines how the online world contributes to the views of race, culture and identity. The information found online is categorized by race, and identity; therefore, it does not give individual freedom for identity work. This book provides an excellent foundation for the author’s 2008 anthology: Digitizing race: Visual cultures of the internet.

Shiky, C. (2008). Here comes everybody: The power of organizations without organizations. London, England: Penguin Books, Limited. A revolutionary look at how the internet gives tools for self-assembly them through a multitude of examples. The organizations form via non-hierarchal means — giving a voice to all members. The author is an excellent archivist for society online, and how it impacts the offline world in positive and negative ways.