thegrandnarrative + identity   10

Don't Buy Into the Authenticity Scam | JSTOR Daily
In “Why Do Brands Cause Trouble? A Dialectical Theory of Consumer Culture and Branding,” the social anthropologist Douglas B. Holt turns to the work of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer to explain his theory of “postmodern consumer culture.” Adorno and Horkheimer saw the emergence of mass-produced culture as a deterrent to personal freedom and identity. “The triumph of advertising in the culture industry,” they wrote in Dialectic of the Enlightenment, “is that consumers feel compelled to buy and use its products even though they see through them.” On the Adorno-Horkheimer view, media, including films, television shows, magazines, and the Internet create a common language reflecting a shared belief system. That belief system is, in effect, “culture.”

Holt builds on Adorno and Horkheimer’s critique of modernity, asserting that postmodern consumer culture today thrives from our ideological assumption that we can actually realize a deeper connection to our personal identity through the commodities we consume. We can engage in “the pursuit of personal sovereignty through brands,” even as technology and globalization perpetuate conformity in our daily lives. I may be identifiable to others as another yoga-pants-wearing, selfie-taking, #blessed millennial, but I can locate my individualism and autonomy in my love of local kale salads and foraged shiitake mushrooms. That is, I may try to define myself through the products I buy, but the culture industry renders those individual choices null.

Holt suggests that the search for the authentic looks different for every consumer, given that each of us is “a work under construction” attempting to project an authentic self to the world “premised upon making thoughtful, sovereign choices rather than obeying market dictates.” Perhaps I’m someone who chooses small-batch craft beer at my local farmers’ market instead of Heineken. Perhaps I even envision this choice as having broader meaning—say, a reflection of my support for local artisans, a critique of mass-production. Or consider this: Maybe I’m among the millions of American millennial hipsters who fetishizes the low-brow, nostalgic appeal of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR), a brand whose sales increased by 200 percent between 2004 and 2013. In both cases, the ideological assumptions underlying these consumption habits reflect a tendency to regard commodities as “cultural resources”—that is, “useful ingredients to produce the self one chooses.”

The notion of seeking the warm glow of authenticity by repudiating the cold glare of modern progress is not unique to our current epoch. “Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books,” the Romantic poet William Wordsworth wrote in his celebrated 1738 poem “The Tables Turned,” which reads, in part, as an anti-Enlightenment manifesto. “Come forth into the light of things,” he implores. “Let Nature be your teacher.” Wordsworth may not have been looking for spiritual fulfillment in small-batch jam, but his wistful celebration of nature was a direct response to Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, and Immanuel Kant, all of whom envisioned a linear teleology of social change in which things are perpetually but gradually getting better.
Adorno  Douglas-Holt  Horkheimer  identity  consumerism 
december 2017 by thegrandnarrative
The End of Identity Liberalism
But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)
identity  politics  sjws 
november 2016 by thegrandnarrative
Coming out as ‘non-binary’ throws other women under the bus
The cool thing for “feminist” writers to do lately is “come out” as “non-binary” or “genderqueer.” These women claim to be non-binary based on the premise that they have complex inner lives and don’t identify with every aspect of their social subordination through femininity...

If these supposed indications of non-binary status sound to you like extremely mundane experiences common to a vast number of women, you would be correct. This is because non-binary identity is essentially devoid of meaning.

Some common narratives conveyed by “non-binary” women include: “I always liked having short hair,” “I don’t like being subjected to sexual violence,” “I feel uncomfortable in my female body.” Often being non-binary is defined by superficial choices that aren’t viewed as stereotypically “feminine.” However, even those choices seem to not be a requirement for non-binary status, as exemplified by Escobar, who looks as “feminine” as any woman.

Unlike some categorizations popular within quee
LGBTQ  SJWs  identity  gender 
august 2016 by thegrandnarrative
If leftwingers like me are condemned as rightwing, then what’s left? | Tim Lott | Opinion | The Guardian
One very key element of the liberal left has long been under threat: its liberalism – that is, its willingness to debate with anything outside a narrow range of opinions within its own walls. And the more scary and incomprehensible the world becomes, the more debate is replaced by edict and prejudice: literally pre-judging. Identity politics is one of the most significant developments of the last 50 years, but it has led to nerves being exposed in a way they rarely were by economic issues. Because identity is less about politics and more about that most sensitive of human constructions, the protection of the self – both group and individual.

And the more it becomes about the protection of self, the less it becomes about the back and forth of rational argument. All the beliefs, opinions and doubts I hold are just that: they are ideas, not ironclad convictions. I am not certain about any of them, and am quite willing to change my mind, as I have done many times in the past. But I will n
sjws  tumblr  identity  politics  trolls  internet  netizens  culture  outcalling  calling  out  public  shaming 
march 2016 by thegrandnarrative
Born this way? Society, sexuality and the search for the 'gay gene' | Science | The Guardian
These issues highlight a fundamental problem that goes well beyond the peculiarities of these particular studies. Scientists are asking whether homosexuality is natural when we can’t even agree exactly what homosexuality is. Homosexuality, as with all sexualities, is a social construction. What does that mean? In his book The History of Sexuality Michel Foucault charted a major shift in our construction of sexual desires over the past few centuries. There are two important changes. First, we have developed the idea that our sexual desires reveal a fundamental truth about who we are, and second we have created a conviction that we have an obligation to seek out that truth and express it. As Jesi Egan argues, “within this framework, sex isn’t just something you do. Instead, the kind of sex you have (or want to have) becomes a symptom of something else: your sexuality.” Instead of just being a thing we do, therefore, sex has become an essential part of our identity. Hence the creation o
gay  gene  sexuality  foucault  sexual  identity  female  body  shape 
july 2015 by thegrandnarrative
Korea, the eternal victim
In other words, Koreans generally view themselves as a pure and peace-loving people who have been repeatedly victimized by ``unjust, undeserved, and immoral” acts of foreign powers, but managed to survive intact and remain whole through persistence, courage and ingenuity, thereby deserving of both empathy and admiration. This is important because having a collective self-identity centered around the nobility of victimhood influences how Korea behaves as a people and nation. One of the key traits of a victim mentality is that you ascribe bad intentions to others which borders on paranoia and refuse to recognize your own responsibilities for a negative situation that you helped created. If this doesn’t describe the foreign policy tendencies of North Korea, I don’t know what does. But it’s not just North Korea. South Korean reactions to the American pivot to Asia and debates surrounding China’s recent overtures all center on how Korea is once again at risk of falling victim to the evil
korean  history  korean  identity  korean  invasions  korean  nationalism  korean  victim  mentality 
july 2014 by thegrandnarrative
Families and how to survive them: Life to another tune | The Economist
ANDREW SOLOMON never knew a time when he was not gay. He chose pink balloons over blue ones and described operas on the school bus rather than trade baseball cards. He was teased at school for being effete and ignored by children issuing party invitations. In his teens Mr Solomon began to suffer from depression. His parents, supportive and understanding, would have preferred their son to be straight and encouraged him to marry a woman and have a family. The recognition that he was gay came only when he understood that gayness was not a matter of behaviour, but of identity; and identity is learned by observing and being part of a subculture outside the family.
socialization  parenting  disabilities  disabilityculture  deafculture  gayculture  gaymarriage  gay  homosexuality  theeconomist  economist  behavior  families  childdevelopment  children  identity 
december 2012 by thegrandnarrative

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