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Scholars Day: April 7, 2010

Second Life: Postmodern View of Identity and Gender

Second Life allows “residents” to create avatars that occupy a virtual world of social interaction. The presenter examines identity performance in Second Life and analyzes if people feel free from societal constraints. She finds out why people choose and maintain the identities they showcase to the rest of the realm. She looks at aspects of how they construct gender by clothing, appearance, body shape and communication. One’s avatar may not mirror one’s actual physical identity, but always reflects one’s fantasies, ideas, creations and/or passions. The presenter intends to create an avatar and visually interpret culture/identity construction in this alternate reality. She observes appearance, clothing selection, interactions, events and all reality aspects within a 2-4 month period. She participates in interactions and communication on the forum. The presenter attempts to distinguish if Second Life allows for Haraway’s postmodern cyborg culture within identity and gender.

Presenter: Brittany Pierce (Undergraduate Student)
Location: 127 Hartwell
Time: 3:05 pm (Session IV)