Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Idenity Online

This week we are exploring issues related to how religious identity is perceived and performed online. We started discussing identity from the perspective that it relates to the process by which an individual develops the ability to grasp meaning about the situations of everyday life and their relationship to those events. We also discussed how perceptions regarding how identity is constitute have changed over time from identity being seeing as an in-born or static construct to something we are socialized into to the post-modern notion of identity being fluid and fragmented.When discussing identity online we considered a number of issues and concerns scholars have had about the performance of identity online, including how issues of anonymity and disembodiment can lead both to deception and increased freedom of experimentation, as well as the nature of participatory culture creates new complexities for identifying and living out the "authentic self" online.

The Lovheim reading also raised two important questions:

- Does digital media strengthen or weaken individual's ability to construct or perform their religious identity?

-Does one's online religious identity have to be connected to a specific offline religious tradition or group to be seen as truly "authentic"?

Students should select one of these question to respond to in their blogs and should reflect on a concrete example on religious engagement online (in a specific forum, website or platform) to help illustrated your argument and supports your claims.

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