Alrighty then, Identity is contested. After all the readings about identity and technology, I confess to some identity-fatigue, but overall I was struck that not many authors even tried to define “identity,” as Helen Kennedy mentions. But alas, Kennedy only calls for more research on what it might mean to have a whole or fragmented identity.
I think Kennedy mentions Stuart Hall, and he certainly has discussed the meaning of identity as tied to culture and a host of social mechanisms. I don’t know what cutting edge is when it comes to identity and the Internet, but James Gee’s take on risk-taking and identity role-playing etc. would probably seen by Kennedy as falling short of interrogating the notion of anonymity as useful or even possible (still, her academic identity is not stable, she could’ve changed her mind?).
As for the her@ study sample Kennedy examines, I was a bit perplexed by her assessment of the homepages she examines. The personal pages featured images and collections from their lives, but I’m not sure why these seemed especially expressive of identity disclosure. I realize Kennedy is testing the claims of anonymity as a staple feature of internet social forums, and she acknowledges the different nature of homepages that invite images, links, and such, that can reveal much about the authors, but would she view white mainstream pages with the same features as “outing” one’s racial identity as she does with those of the women of color? Whose identity are we talking about here?