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2.5.2 Identities

2.5 IdentitiesIdentity is a multifaceted concept that has been explored in a variety of ways in the literature on digital literacy (see Merchant, 2006). Moje and Luke (2009), in a review of the relationship between identity and literacy, identified five commonly used metaphors: identity as (a) difference, (b) sense of self/subjectivity, (c) mind or consciousness, (d) narrative, and (e) position. The primary metaphor drawn upon in this project is (b), identity as a sense of self/subjectivity. In many of the case studies in Chapter 5, teachers enabled pupils to explore and present aspects of their identities in creative ways. Important in work with children and young people is engaging them in reflections on the way in which digital identities can be traced across the Internet and the implications of this for reputation. The ‘networked self’ is part of complex and ever-changing networked publics and this requires reflexivity relating to status, engagement in rituals and online relationships.

In relation to identity in a digital world, there are a number of issues to consider. First is the way in which digital technologies enable expressions of identity across a range of forms. Personalisation of digital tools and spaces is now widely available and evident in the ways in which we can set our preferences and choose particular software, add-ons and widgets for specific purposes. Often personalisation relates to identity performance (e.g. in template modification in personal blogs, or the choice of photographs to display on Facebook). Second, as the case studies in this project demonstrate, the relationship between the digital and identity construction and performance is important to consider. As children, for example, blogged, filmed, edited and created multimodal texts; they also explored aspects of their identities, such as their identities as consumers of popular culture. Third, there is currently much emphasis on managing digital identities.

For References for this section see 2.5.4 References / Links to Further Resources

See also: 3.6.1 Mulitimodality

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