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On completion of this module, students should be:
- aware of, and capable of using, the various communicative possibilities of the Internet;
- aware of key issues relating to the construction of personal identities on the Internet;
- aware of alternative modes of self-presentation on the Internet;
- competent in self-presentation on the Internet.
This workshop-based module is intended to help you to become more broadly aware of issues of communication and identity on the Internet. It also offers you a practical opportunity to develop your own self-presentational and communicational skills within the medium of the Web and will thus contribute to your personal and social development.
'Cyberspace' has been deliberately chosen as a label since it is broader and more social than the technological label 'the Internet' and thus reflects our concern with everyday social issues of identity and communication in the light of new communication technologies. The Internet is not only the 'information' system which it is sometimes described as - it is also a communication system. The module will consider a variety of forms and functions of the Internet: for instance, the genre of the 'personal home page'. Personal home pages are online multi-media texts which address the question, 'Who Am I?' and thus enable us to consider issues of personal identity and self-presentation. In such sites, what are visibly 'under construction' are not only the pages but the authors themselves. Other asynchronous modes of communication which will explore are e-mail, listserv E-Mail Discussion Lists and USENET Newsgroups; Bulletin Boards (BBS) and Forums. We will also explore issues of communication and identity in relation to some of the synchronous 'chat systems'.
In my own research, I am currently exploring male identity practices in webcam and chatroom environments and I will introduce students on this module to some of the findings.
- Workshops for the first assignment focus on researching self-presentation through the medium.
- Workshops for the second assignment exploit the medium for self-presentation via the construction of a personal home page
This module is at CQFW Level 6