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Study Task 4: Triangulation

Amid the relativism forced upon us by the experience of living in a global civilization...we are all challenged to look again in the mirror and rethink our assumptions about who and what we are. We face the discomfort - and the depth - of living with uncertainty, paradox, ambiguity and constant change. (Zweig, C cited in Kidd, W 2002:62) Within the post-modern global community to which we are now all exposed to, there is more freedom to be who we want to be, we can be more experimental with our identity and reinvent ourselves but this creates inconsistencies within our identity, therefore creating an unstable, chaotic view of our identity. This rethinking and reworking of our identity is referred to as a multiplicity of identities - a series of identities which one may possess and there is no one true identity. Zweig’s reference to mirror is similar to how one may use the devices of internet look at there identity in different ways and use the internet as a way to trial and test new identities. The internet offers a ‘chance for all of us who aren’t actors to play with masks’ (Turkle, S. 1997:256) Turkle’s metaphor of the mask suggests how we use the internet and the profiles, characters and roles we create and play with online to cycle through different identities we construct from unexplored parts of one’s identity. Gergen describes identities “as a hollow tube, through which, one at a time, the ‘many’ speak through at the appropriate moment...what we perceive as ‘one’ in any context is, perhaps a conglomerate of ‘one’s’ (Gergen, K. Cited in Turkle, S. 1997:257). As our multiplicity of identities and knowledge of other cultures is spread across the world we continuously construct and reconstruct our identities to apply to a given context, but there is no one stable identity but a ‘pastiche of personalities’ that reveal themselves. Identity as multiplicity allows one to reflect upon positive aspects of these identities and bring them fourth into the real world. Although one’s identity may be multiple, it is integrated, one therefore feels a sense of self without being one self.

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