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   Thursday, August 22, 2002  
Nationalism and the Emergence of New States

Lecture Week 4 (23 August 2002)


1. What is nationalism?
2. Emergence of nationalism and pro-independence movements in SEA.
3. Increase in pro-independence movements in SEA.
4. The origins of national identities.


• Feeling of belonging to a nation, identifying with a nation. According to Benedict Anderson (1983), a well-known scholar of nationalism and SEA, nation is ‘an imagined political community that is inherently limited and sovereign’.
o imagined: never meet all members, but can think of them, co-existing.
o community: a ‘we feeling’, connotation of common bonds, idea of some kind of equality, notion of citizenship (participation in a group, not a ‘subject’ of a ruler).
o limited: implicit recognition of other nations – may imagine your nation to occupy a larger space, but it cannot take in the whole whole world.
o sovereign: internally autonomous, political control exercised from within the nation, not by outside power. Thus cannot have modern nationalism without the idea of the modern, sovereign state.

• National identity is different from other identities (family/kin; local community; political party; ethnic group; religious group; class). While these other identities all can be either local or transnational, possibly global. Therefore, national identity is fixed to a particular country, in aspiration if not practice.


• Pro-Independence Movements and Leaders

o Earliest nationalist groups in SEA were in the Philippines, in the late 19th C. Combination of educated youth and peasant movement, aim to free the Philippines from Spanish rule. Declared independence from Spain in 1898 – took the US several years to suppress them militarily, and co-opt local elites. Jose Rizal and others.
o Vietnam: some organized resistance as soon as French consolidated rule in 1885, but more pro-monarch than national. Ho Chi Minh and others.
o Nationalist groups established in several SEA territories early in 20thC. Young Men’s Budhist Association, 1906, in British-ruled Burma. Budi Oetomo, 1908, in Dutch-ruled Java.
o Numbers of groups rapidly incrased in the 1910s, 1920s: large rise in publications, newspapers, political organizations, ferment of activity. Sukarno-Hatta-Semaun-Tjokroaminoto in Indonesia. Aung San in Burma. Pridi-Phibun in Thailand.
o Major political crackdowns in Vietnam and Netherlands India especially from late 1920s, many anti-colonialist leaders imprisoned or exiled.

• Aims and Characters of Pro-Independence Movements

o Not all pro-independence movements had a clear idea of creating modern nation-states organized along the territorial lines of modern SEA countries.
o Peasant-based uprisings and anti-colonial protests, strong emphasis on land re-distribution.
o Some groups organizing along ethnic lines: -eg Chinese nationalist groups (in SEA) inspired by victory of Sun Yatsen in Chinese revolution of 1911; or some Malay nationalist groups whose vision of the nation, and anti-colonial activity, was also bound up with ethnic identity.
o Some groups mobilized along religious lines: eg Syarikat Islam (the white faction led by Tjokroaminoto) in Netherlands Indies.
o Many anti-colonial movements borrowed a lot from socialist or Marxist thinking, some were explicitly communist.
o Religious, nationalist and marxist motivations sometimes fractured anti-colonial or pro-independence movements (and divisions affected post-independence politics in countries like Indonesia) but were not necessarily antagonistic: -eg Soekarno’s famous 1928 speech on ‘Nationalism, Islam and Marxism’; - and also Ho Chi Minh: self-declared communist but clearly strongly nationalist.


• Education.
o Spread of education, development of new ideas, new ways of perceiving and expressing views about injustices of colonialism .
• Print Media.
o Literacy important for being able to communicate these ideas: proliferation of print media.
• Economic Conditions.
o Hardship and social dislocation as SEA population very badly affected by world depression in 1930s; collapse of prices of commodities produced in SEA; and also increasing problems of landlessness and indebtedness among peasants.
o Pro-independence movements suppressed or contained through the 1930s.

• WWII and Japanese occupation very important:

o Showed European powers could be defeated.
o Japanese freed/promoted nationalist leaders: allowed them to mobilize masses in public gatherings (especially Sukarno).
o Local bureaucrats given more powers, responsibility.
o Japanese established some armed military groups of locals: training, confidence, aspirations. Also increase in capacity and organization of groups resisting Japanese occupation.

• Uneven and varied nature of SEA anti-colonial movements

o Very intense in Indonesia: declared independence as soon as Japan defeated, then fought Dutch for 4 years to attain it. Dutch ceded Indonesia in 1949. Also intense in Vietnmam – first fought against returning French, then against US and US-backed government in South --- did not win this national liberation fight until 1975.
o Less strong in Malaysia and Singapore: British able to come back, faced communist groups opposed to their return but much of population, especially local elites, accepted prolonged process of gaining independence (Malaya granted independence in 1957; internal self-rule for Singapore in 1959)


• In some cases an important force: population prepared to fight for a country that did not yet exist.
• This raises question of why post-independence countries of SEA largely conform to territorial units of colonial powers.
• For instance, no obvious cultural, linguistic, religious reasons to draw boundaries as they are now:
o Malays of Sumatra and peninsula Malaysia share common language, a lot of pre-colonial history, religion… but in separate countries.
o Shans of Burma and Shans of Thailand share common language and culture and others but in separate countries.
• Again, Benedict Anderson (‘Imagined Communities’) argued that many anti-colonial groups conceived of independent nation-states that would exist within the territory of the colonial power because of the processes of colonialism.
• By being educated with other people in the colonial territory, and serving in the colonial bureaucracies, having to use a common language of administration and schooling, coming into contact with others like themselves and developed a group consciousness that was contained by the colonial territory. Meanwhile, the European colonial officials might leave and serve in other colonies or return to Europe and the local bureaucrats would stay in the colony.

   posted by Lipgloss assassin at 3:31 AM  

“Colonialism and the Idea of Southeast Asia”

(17 August 2002)

Introduction: Examining Another Wave of External Influences on Southeast Asia

Trade and European Contacts with and Purposes in Southeast Asia

european Colonial Rule in Southeast Asia

Conclusion: European and Southeast Asian Actors
The Idea of “Southeast Asia”

I. Trade and European Contacts with and Purposes in
Southeast Asia

● most of SEA, especially coastal areas, long involved in trade, centuries before Europeans came to SEA
● local people trading with Arab, Indian and Chinese traders. Some of these ‘outsiders’ settled in the region but not mass migration.
● active exchange systems linking SEA with China and India, and SEA serving as bridge between China and India
● SEA ports used for taking on supplies, waiting for favourable winds, mediating points for exchanging goods from elsewhere


“Empire is about three things: Gold, God, and Glory.”

● Europeans begain to participate in this trade system from 16th C
● Portuguese capture of Malacca 1511, trading post until lost to Dutch in 1641
• Spanish reached what is now Philippines 1521, a few decades later using Manila as a port in the “galleon trade” to carry Chinese goods to Mexico, for shipment onward to Spain
• Spanish also major missionizing actors: aim (largely successful) to Christianize the Philippines.
• Dutch traders came to region in 17th C.
o trade by the Dutch East India Company [Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC] with monopoly conferred by Dutch authority. attempted to maintain monopoly on trade in spices
o founded Batavia, today’s Jakarta, in 1619 as an administrative center of VOC trading activities
o privileged but not a part of the Dutch government
o early colonization of north coast of Java and of other islands in today’s Indonesia thus carried out by a transnational commercial enterprise.
o not so profitable in the end… bankrupt by end of 18th C, Dutch govt took over the colony 1800
• English trade and colonization in SEA also carried out in part by commercial firm – its own East India Company – same one that colonized India (and ruled it till the 1850s) before sending agents to go to SEA.
o came to Penang first, 1786; Singapore 1819; Malacca swapped from Dutch 1824. Led to “forward movement” to rule most of Malaya from the 1870s.
o Raffles was a “company man” .. sought to promote free trade in contrast to monopolistic practices of the Dutch and Spanish
o another, separate English company ended up governing North Borneo [Sabah] later in 19th C; the Brooke family ruled Sarawak as “white rajahs” and dominated its trade all the way to the Second World War
o Britain annexed Burma to its Indian empire in three stages: 1820s, 1850s, 1880s.
• French onto the scene from the mid-19th C, unlike others did not limit themselves to trading post enclave at first: took Vietnam in 1860s (south) and 1880s (north and center), Cambodia in 1864, and what is now Laos in 1893.
• United States join the “game” of empire in 1898, when it replaced Spain in the Philippines.


“Remember: at the end of the day, empire must pay!”

• until 19th C, European traders mostly limited to using SEA posts as mediating points in India-China-Europe trade, some trade in local products
• in 19th C began major production of cash crops: getting local people to grow products such as rice, sugar and (later) rubber for world market; major change in organization of rural activity and land use. This was seen as “unlocking the tropics”.
• some evidence of increase in incomes of Southeast Asian producers over 19th C, compared to subsistence farming, but also increased vulnerability to price fluctuations on world commodity markets. Collapse of prices with Depression in 1930s was a disaster for many Southeast Asians.
• large plantations: importation of outside labourers from India, China or within SEA (eg from Java to Sumatra)
• Chinese migrant labour also used in tin mines in Malayan penninsula
• Economic change brought change in way of life in rural areas; change in population

II. European Colonial Rule in Southeast Asia


• Portuguese, Dutch, and British came to SEA for commercial reasons and initially only established themselves in small trading centres
• needed security, access to local products and often wanted to exclude others from trade in some products
• these aims sometimes brought them into conflict with local rulers – but not always
• frequent collaboration with local rulers – or aspiring rulers who were willing to accept European support in return for cooperation
• early colonial period, life for ordinary people changed very little – often not much contact with authority figures, many of the local ruling systems remained as before
• this began to change as requirements of government change; for example the need to organize rural areas for the production of cash crops in large volumes
• even so, many areas remain under systems of ‘indirect rule’
o local ruler/aristocrat was officially maintained in position
o he would act on the ‘advice’ of a colonial official
o governed through increasingly formalized indigenous bureaucracy
o in Malaya, this system characterized the “Unfederated Malay States” of Johor, Perlis, Kelanan, Trengganu, Kedah


• other areas were ruled directly: colonial bureaucracy under a European governor. For example, the Federated Malay States of Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak
• even in directly ruled territories, colonial govts started off with limited goals and resources: revenue limits, small staffs, focus on trade, production and security. Idea was to keep government cheap.
• some similarities with indigenous systems of government
o adopted elements of display, ceremony
o same recourse to delegation of functions, such as “tax farming”
• territorial expansion often a slow, unplanned process, as in the case of British takeover of Malay peninsula
• expansion often motivated by ambition of local governor, need to maintain ‘law and order’ in economically important area not under colonial control, or to secure access by colonial business-people; the “man-on-the-spot” dimension of empire
• as competition among colonizing power increased, territorial conquests seemed more important

• Except in case of Philippines under Spain, where church officials governed and had missionary goals, not interested in moral condition of locals until very late
• Welfare, public works, health and education services that modern govts aim (or profess) to provide not really developed at all until end of 19th C/ early 20th C…
• except for public works like roads and railways, remained limited by modern standards
• but compared to earlier times, early 20th C saw large expansion in government: more departments, more officials, more locals involved in bureaucracy, more contact with ordinary people
• this expansion opened new opportunities in lower and middle ranks of colonial bureaucracies for some Southeast Asians, those with the means and good luck to have access to Western-style educations. These SE Asians would play a large role in anti-colonial nationalism and post-independence government and politics. Consider, for example, the cases of Lee Kuan Yew, Sukarno, or Tungku Abdul Rahman.

• territorial expansion by colonial powers introduced new concept to SEA – idea of an international border
o take borders for granted now: pass from one jurisdiction to another, govt cannot (usually) claim authority over you when outside the country…
o as discussed last week, not so clear-cut in precolonial SEA
o also not entirely clear for much of colonial era – eg some of the Malay states remained formally independent for years, with British ‘advisers’, sometimes present with Thai ‘advisers’ at same time
• the case of Siam, today’s Thailand
o avoided colonization, not least by accepting reduced but better defined borders
o but had to give up areas that had been under its influence: northern Malaya, Cambodia, Laos
o granted trade concessions to British and others from mid-19th century
o granted ‘extraterritorial’ rights to European foreigners in Siam – agreed to allow to run own justice systems and commercial law within Thai territory
o changed structures and capacities of own bureaucracy to provide many new governmental functions, similar to expansion of govt in colonized SEA, “internal colonization”
o ability of Siamese govt to do this could not be taken for granted – required organization, effort and skill …

III. Conclusion: European and Southeast Asian Actors
The Idea of “Southeast Asia”


• impact of changing trade and authority patterns was significant
• but not necessarily the case that all the changes were result of colonial actors
• local actors also important to course of events – as rulers, bureaucrats, traders, tax collectors, police, and above all as producers – not everything they did simply in response to outside demands, also embraced new opportunities
• even less the case that events unfolded in accordance with plans of colonial govts: actions often had unintended consequences
o hardship, social dislocation, resentment  rebellions, resistance, crime…
o incorporation of locals into govt, development of education  aspirations, ideas that differed from those of colonial power…


• Still, much of history of SEA was written by people associated with colonial powers – tended to focus on importance and role of colonial authority: “imperial history” rather than “Southeast Asian history”
• increasingly from mid-20th C, SEA people began writing their own history. others began to question previous emphasis what European actors did.
• perspective is important: who you are can influence what you see and choose to write about, how you interpret things: one issue of perspective relates to the idea of the region’s coherence
• physical landscape does not dictate where we put regional boundaries. What else has played a role in defining SEA as a coherent region? Yesterday’s lecture argued for the importance of external influences, of certain patterns of cultural borrowing, of “localization”.
• more recently, politics has come to the fore: Japan’s control of the whole region between 1942 and 1945 led those who had lost control and now found themselves outside the region fighting to get back in to view the region as a unit, with shared circumstances. But these were outsiders.
• took a while for consensus to develop as to what area term referred to, but the emphasis has so often been political. October 1949 helped determine that, as SEA became “not the PRC” in the minds of outsiders. ASEAN (1967) created by SE Asians themselves, but still essentially a political understanding of the region.
• whether we consider a group of countries or geographical area to be a ‘region’ changes in response to actual trends – eg trade and investment flows, migration, political developments. ALSO the matter of interests, intellectual AND material.
• a big mistake to assume that SEA now static. It is home to the world’s newest nation, after all: East Timor. Should region be seen to include southern or southwestern parts of China? Northeastern parts of India? Or does it make more sense to think of a broader Asian region? Or a Western Pacific one, that includes Australia? That’s how the US Navy logistics command up at Sembawang seems to see it.
• Key point is that today, when we think about SEA, we think above all about the political outlines of the region. Consider how many people use “ASEAN” and Southeast Asia interchangeably? Now that ASEAN includes all ten SE Asian nations (but not yet East Timor!), is there anything wrong with this usage? Maybe not, but consider that, 100 years ago few of the ten nations of today’s ASEAN existed in anything resembling their present form … The topic of next week’s lecture, with Dr Priyambudi, is how these new states emerged.
   posted by Lipgloss assassin at 3:30 AM  

Lecture Two
“Conceptions of Space and Authority in Early Southeast Asia”

(16 August 2002)



I. “Localization” and the influence of Indic concepts on early SE Asia

--SEA as a cross-roads, long history of waves of outside influence: Indic, Sinic. Islamic, Iberian, North Atlantic
--both experience of these influences and ways in which they have
been received are important aspects of SEA’s coherence

--key form of reception process has been “localization”: the borrowing of foreign materials and their reworking into
new, original, Southeast Asian “local cultural statements”

--this is evident in the case of the influence of Indic concepts of space and authority in early SEA. But problem of source bias in our understanding of early SEA? Maybe.

--Need to try to investigate ties between thought—the world in the mind—and institutions of society and government that stemmed from the influence of Indic religion—Hinduism or Brahmanism and Mahayana Buddhism on SEA from early times, some 2000 years ago. Influences came through trade, but its bearers were people called “Brahmins”.

II. Mandala polities and related ideas of space and authority

A. Space … What is a “mandala”, anyway? (Term is from Sanskrit term.)
-- according to one author: “a pattern of borderless political organization shaped by devotional cults”. But what does this mean?

--also referred to as a “galactic polity”, like a galaxy—dense at the center and less so at its poorly defined edges, bordered by similar polities. Within the mandala are numerous other
nodes, subordinate to its center.

--So what was at the center of the mandala? Power, the king, and
his cult. Often referred to as the “exemplary center. Organization of a polity must be in harmony with the cosmos, the universe. State and kingship have cosmological basis.

--And what faded gradually away at its poorly defined edges? Power, influence,authority, sovereignty. So different fromtoday’s territorially defined polities.

--Since the mandala polity was image of the universe, that polity
was universalist in its conception

B. Authority … What, exactly, stood at the dense core of the mandala?
*The king and the cult.

-- In 820, a Khmer or Cambodian king named Jayavarman II
inaugurated the cult of the deva-raja. This was a cult to the
Hindu god Siva, a cult that associated the king with Siva,
that made the king the ritual embodiment of god.

--Creation of the deva-raja and similar cults to Siva in early Southeast Asia are prime examples of localization

--If the king had access to the secrets of the cosmos, he also demonstrated the concentration of power in him in various ways. His leadership was charismatic. He was, in a famous phrase, a “man of prowess

--In Mahayana Buddhist terms, the kinghe was a Cakkravatin (He Who Sets Rolling the Wheel of the Buddhist Law), “Universal Monarch”.

C. With these features of spatial organization and authority in mind, what were the resultant states like?

--First, we know that it was highly centralized.

--Second, through ritual associated with the cult of the deva-raja, the king could emphasize his access to divine power. Sometimes referred to as a “theatre state”.

--Third, the focus of the state was on the king as the polity, not on society.

--Fourth, it was universalistic in its conception. Not defined either in relation to other states or to history. Entire orientation was on the present

--Fifth, it made for a series of small, highly unstable states.

III. Thervada Buddhism, Islam, and their impact on ideas about space and authority

A. Theravada Buddhism (from the 12th-13th centuries)
--spread to Burma, Siam, Cambodia, Laos

a. Doctrinal Buddhism – philosophical teaching.
b. Popular Buddhism – beliefs in merit and demerit and in past lives.

Merit – “good deed” or good actions of past lives.
Demerit – faulty actions of past lives.

Power includes:
a. Personal influence or force derived from merit.
b. Personal influence or force derived from supernatural power.
c. Personal influence or force derived from charisma.
d. Authority or legal power acquired by being in high official positions.

Centre and periphery
1. The palace as the centre.
2. The city/capital as the centre.
3. The king as the centre.

The King
1. Individual with greatest stock of merit
2. Ruler of the kingdom – symbolically, the ruler of the universe.
3. Guarantor of kingdom’s prosperity: peace, wealth, trade, education, religion
--Protector of the religion.
--Protector of the kingdom’s well-being.
4. Leader in war
--power expansion (charisma not territory).
--recruitment of manpower.
--protection of the religion.
--unity of the universe.

B. Islam (from the 13th century)
--spread to much of maritime SEA
--the importance of the model/example of Melaka sultanate (to Islam in 1430s)

1. Authority
--ruler as leader of community (ummat), as God’s representative (katipullah)
--power rested with God, not in a cosmology
--less a question of the “theatre state”, more emphasis on the practical role of a ruler and his ability to show that he represented God
--society of Muslims now important, rather than polity centered on king
--more participatory, more egalitarian
--more international: not the center of universe but one of many Islamic polities

2. Space
--focus of power still the center of the city
--center now held mosque, public square, market-place, residences of commercial and religious groups
--a space in which all members of a society of Muslims had things to do
--resultant great cohesion between capital and hinterland, emergence of territorial states (replacing city-states and loose kingdoms of earlier SEA)
--parallel understanding of international space, as polity was no longer center of universe
--more “modern” concept of geopolitical space

IV. Legacies of these early influences and processes in modern SE Asia

A. Orientation toward the present of Southeast Asians
--tied to the influence of Indic conceptions of the polity?

B. Fluidity of power relations persists despite contemporary strong and coercive state power.
--the notion of constant power struggle due to the ability of leaders to concentrate power, to maintain powerful centre as well as the ability for people to resist.

C. Bases of leadership and legitimation
--continued importance of mystical power in modern times despite rapid economic and social changes: monuments, retinues, “prowess”.
--part of search for stability, for control over rapidly changing environment?

And who has introduces and uses ideas about “unique” cultural differences? Southeast Asians? Outsiders? What kinds of Southeast Asians? What kinds of outsiders? What has been at stake when these arguments are used? How effective have these arguments been in the recent past, especially if they are in the form of political rhetoric, on Southeast Asians and their societies? And how effective are they today? Think about some examples.

D. Role of territorial and international orientations of Islamic polities
--gave capital cities and territories that they governed the cohesive force and framework for resistance against European economic and political challenge
--note similar effect of Chinese political technologies in Vietnam
--both aided the wider nationalist movement of the modern era:next lecture.

   posted by Lipgloss assassin at 3:28 AM  
Sociology lecture 3.
Doing Sociology

 There are a number of different approaches that allow us to gather information about the social world. Each approach or method is a tool which allows us to acquire different types of information about any topic. This lecture will compare the various tools in the methodological toolbox and examine some of the ways to apply them.

Topics of Discussion
 The Basis for Sociological Investigation
 Ways of Knowing
 Common Sense versus Scientific Evidence
 Measuring the Facts
 Statistical Measures
 Relationships Among Variables
 Methods of Research
– Survey Research
– Observations
– Experiments

The Basis for Sociological Investigation
 a. Look at the world around you.
 b. Use the Sociological Perspective.
 c. Be curious and ask questions.

Ways of Knowing
 a. personal experience
 b. religious faith
 c. expert knowledge
 d. commonly recognized fact

Scientific Knowledge is based on Empirical Evidence
 Defined as the results of systematic procedures.
 Something we are able to verify with our senses.

Common Sense versus Scientific Evidence

 Common sense is useful but it can be misleading.
 Common sense often can produce incorrect findings, both in the natural world as well as the social world.
 Sociology follows scientific logical proceedings.

Measuring the Facts
 a. Concept = an abstract idea
 b. Variables = any concept that varies
 c. Measurement = determining the value of a variable
 d. Operationalization = specifying what will be measured

Three Statistical Measures

 a. Mode = value that occurs most often
 b. Mean = arithmetic average
 c. Median = the value in the middle

US $Incomes in Singapore

 $100,000
 $10,000
 $5,000
 $5,000
 $5,000
 $5,000
 ----------------------------------------------
 Mean = $21,600

Important Considerations in Measurement

 Reliability = consistency in measurement
 Validity = measuring what you intend

Relationships Among Variables
a. Cause and Effect = when change in one variable causes change in another
 b. Independent Variable = the one that causes change
 c. Dependent Variable = the one that is changed

Further Relationships Among Variables

 d. Correlation = when two variables vary together
 e. Spurious Correlation = two variables vary but are not related
 f. Scientific Control = neutralizing one variable to better observe relationship

Three Requirements for Cause and Effect

 a. Two Variables are Correlated

 b. Independent Variable precedes Dependent

 c. No evidence for Spurious Correlation
Methods of Research
 Survey Research = useful in getting answer to specific questions

Survey Research draws on sample of population
• a. random sample
• b. quota sample
• c. snowball sample

Survey Research Methods

 Survey Research Instruments

– a. Questionnaires = usually a series of written questions for respondents to answer

– b. Interviews = usually a series of questions asked face to face or over the phone

Observation Methods
 Observations=used to get information on something in its social context
 a. Participant Observations = when the researcher participates in the activities of the people being studied
 B. Non-participant Observations = when the researcher just observes the social scene
 b. Ethnography = studying a community or group in great detail
 c. Case Study = study a particular group or process

Some Research Issues
 Do not influence those you observe.
 Hawthorn Effect = when the research itself effects the outcome
 Research Ethics
 A. Do not harm the subjects.
 B. Do not violate confidential information.
 C. Do not break the law.

Secondary Analysis
 Secondary Analysis = analysis of existing data

 Most research starts by considering existing work.

 Very fast and efficient.

 Researcher has no control over data.

 Experiments = test for relationships by controlling the process

 Experimental Procedure
 A. Measure the dependent.
 B. Expose dependent to independent.
 C. Re-measure dependent for change.

Famous Experiments

 Zimbardo Prison Experiment
 US Government Welfare Experiment
 Milgram Shock Experiment
 Experiments that would be interesting.
 Experiments you can do at home.

   posted by Lipgloss assassin at 3:19 AM

   Sunday, August 18, 2002  
ICM Lecture 4.
Disembodied Selves and Flexible Identities
: Online Self and Virtual Reality

The Self in the Digital Age

“Rather than being defined principally through its actuality, the entity now finds its essential consistency within a problematic field”
- Pierre Levy
“When we step through the screen into virtual communities, we reconstitute our identities on the other side of the looking glass”
- Sherry Turkle

The Internet and the Self
• E-mail
• World Wide Web
• Chatting (IRC)
• Mudding (Multi User Domains)
• LANing (Local Area Networks)

Understanding Cyberspace
cyberspace, n.
The notional environment within which electronic communication occurs, esp. when represented as the inside of a computer system; space perceived as such by an observer but generated by a computer system and having no real existence; the space of virtual reality. Cf. virtual reality
1982 W. GIBSON in Omni July 72/2
Oxford English Dictionary

‘Cyberspace’ is a term that originates from science fiction/cyberpunk.
Coined by William Gibson, it refers to the nature of an experience, rather than a physical place.
With the development of the possibilities of the Internet, it is easy to enter this ‘space’ in a way that frees one very much from the physical/social self
e.g. Self Making in Chatting/Online Forums

Consequences of Cyberspace
• Disembodiment
- Our bodies are ‘left behind’
- Can ‘move’ regardless of physical limitation, e.g. to any part of the globe
• Anonymity
- Likewise, no one knows who you are
- You can say what you REALLY feel

=> You can pretend! What do you want 2B 2day?

What REALLY happens Online?!?
• Our bodies contain information, of who we are, our ethnicity, gender, e.t.c.
• Online, we are removed from our bodies and all these markers and pre-conditionings are removed
• Freed from our physical aspect, certain things are inevitably changed

e.g. Mexican Girls and Classroom Interaction

Foucault: Power and Surveillance
Michel Foucault is a theorist that argues that power is intimately involved in surveillance
To be able to observe is power and people under observation acquire self-discipline. They keep themselves under control.

In Discipline and Punish, he talks about Bentham’s Panopticon

Bentham’s Panopticon (1787)

The Design of the Panopticon was such that the jailor in the central tower at the heart of the structure could always see the prisoner, but would never be seen himself/herself.

The Virtual Self
• Is arguably relatively free from surveillance (cf. Foucault/Lyon)
• Therefore has the possibility to say/be anything without fear of consequence
• Therefore has potential to be extremely truthful or to be involved in complete deception
• Social controls are removed, sometimes in a good way sometimes bad...

Forming Online Identities
1) Telepresence
• To what degree do people feel they are able to experience a connection to others through technology?
• Telepresence = “the extent to which one feels present in the mediated environment, rather than the immediate physical environment”
• The level of vividness and interactivity is impt!
• How far are we then from a ‘Holodeck’
(cf. Star Trek)
Forming Online Identities
2) Performing Identity
• How we ‘present ourselves’ is an important aspect of our identity
• Yet, like it or not ‘people infer qualities based on our gender, race, clothing…’
• With the Internet, we can CONTROL more aspects of our identity than was possible before! (E.g. By ‘Gender Swapping’)
• Instead we ‘perform through language’
• At the same time, IS what we read what we get?!?

3) Anonymity/Pseudonymity
• So People can choose how to let you perceive them, by the way they construct their avatars or choose their pseudonyms
• Thanks to anonymity, they can act without fear of reprisals/bias
• BUT, consequently issues of
- Identity Fraud
- Shadow Identities, e.t.c. Keep coming up!!!
?What about Responsibility and Accountability

Case Study: MUDDING
• Originated from Role Playing Games (RPGs): e.g. D&D, AD&D, Tunnels & Trolls
• Believed to be inspired by the fantasy genre of literature e.g. Lord of the Rings
• Basically people can choose what kind of character to play in the game/virtual world that exists in the verbal interactions of players (in RPGs) or the text/image renderings on computers (MUDs)

• Diablo II:
• Ultima Online:
• Old Games:

• RPGs became adapted for computer (even video games, e.g. Final Fantasy)
• Today, MUDs take the form of games like - Ultima Online & Diablo II
‘massively multiplayer online role-playing games’
e.g. Dark Age of Camelot

Turkle and MUDs
• “MUDs provide worlds for anonymous social interaction in which you can play a role as close to or as far away from your real self as you choose”
• “MUDs” can provide “what the psychoanalyst Eric Erikson called a psycho social moratorium”
• The moratorium “facilitates the development of a core self… what Erickson called identity”

• “players commonly try to take things from the virtual to the real and are usually disappointed”
• MUDs can be a place to “act out” rather than “work through” difficulties

Can we live completely in a virtual world?
Is it realistic to do so?

Boundaries and Limitations
The Limits of Physical Freedom
• More than the body carries markers of Identity – e.g. Talking ‘Black’
• Freedom through Disembodiment does not equal freedom from self-imposed limits
• Digital divide, e.t.c. shows that cyberspace does not do away with real limits
• REMEMBER, to be able to access a computer, is a privilege of sorts already…

Boundaries and Limitations
• Increasingly, the potential of IT is used to control as much as to enable
• The Panopticon is actually closer to the reality of the Information Age than it is to the Past
• Milestones:
• Cookies (1994)
• Serial-numbered INTEL Pentium IIs (1999)

Self/Community in the Virtual Age?
• People are allowed to be themselves without prejudice
• People able to communicate freely across geographical boundaries
• Can still develop meaningful relationships
• There is little way in knowing who is on the other end/deception
• But is such support reliable and dependable?
• Is such communication just a matter of projection?

   posted by Lipgloss assassin at 8:38 PM


Ga Ga~