Identity, politics and the consumer cultures.

Happy New Year to all, health hoping this year thing will get better, like every new year. I was away for a short holiday spending Christmas and New Year with family. Droved around Victoria and New South Wales. We did small town, beaches, back to nature, national park, rainforest and good food. We had wonderful time. Holidays is great, everybody needs a break I guess.

As for now I’m back to research and work. Nothing much thought in holidays about research, very mild and relaxing. I thought would be better off enjoying my short holidays and come back fresh to continue my 2007 research. My website www.malaysianidentity.com went well, I would say, although it is only little not even a year, but through the website I meet virtually many people. That is the power of technology. Some of them I even meet up in real world, but sadly some of them still we meet in the virtual life.

I dont know how long this site will go on, I guess I should keep it, although it is not very easy to maintain it, but we’ll see. We still open for discussion and any new ideas about related topic. Also my abstract for conferences has been accepted. Great, now more work to do 😉

I started my new year slow and steady, I hope to see things clearly and fresh after my holidays. I also hope to improve many things in life and my research. I need to set few goals and achivement for 2007. Let hope there will be less war in this year too, and more people will be concern about environment and real thing.

I also have few topics that i find interesting to dig this year. Topic like authenticity…in the globalisation world. As many people now is very much interested in ‘real thing’ as they call it.

Question:

How do you deliver the authenticity to a mass market?

I’ve been discussing, this web
chatting, ailment interviewing and reading lots of thing about the issues of identity. Until now the issues of identity still ambiguous. Why identity need to be interpret as one? Why must there be a single identity? After few months discussing about issues of Malaysian identity in the virtual round table these are my conclusion.

Identity represent certain group of people, malady
an image or history supporting the group. Identity in Oxford English Dictionary is define as ‘the fact of being who or what a person or thing is’.

My definition and understanding of identity might be different to my mother or my grandmother definition of identity. Identity changed, transform and evolved through time and generation. There are many reasons of the changes of identity. It can be education, technologies, government laws, political, religions and belief, tradition and lifestyle. It can change because of the new era of globalization and free market. Further more, it can also be, because of the freedom to choose.

And it doesn’t have to be a single identity. It can be multi identity in any country, or places or person. Identity changes, evolved and transform through time and situations!
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Chinese Praying Place, Penang

Kampung Permatang Pasir, Malays House, Kedah, Malaysia
I’ve been out of Melbourne for a short holidays in the desert. Was a good break after a log break I had in Christmas. I think I had enough break for now. I will write soon about the trip in short text and lots of pictures of the desert.

Meanwhile I also been actively reading things about consumers culture. Authors like Celia Lury, information pills
Anthony Gidden and Simmons open up some argument related to my research about identity. Giddens introduces me to the understanding between emancipatory politics to life politics.

Anthony Giddens (sociologist) has located the significance of the nation of identity in contemporary society in relation to a movement away from emancipatory politics to life politics. Emancipatory politics in its various forms is seen by Giddens to have concerned with releasing people from the constraints of traditional social positions of class, gender, race and age, by breaking down hierarchies. Clearly, the consumer culture is seen by some as an important process in this breakdown, or at least in the refiguring of these hierarchies, through the resources it offers for more flexible relationship between the individual and the self-identity.

Life politics, in contrast to emancipatory politics, is said to be a politics of self-determination. The protests, campaigns, strikes and rallies associated with emancipatory politics were attempt to reveal the invasion of the people’s everyday lives by social and political forces of domination and exploitation. Life politics is said to work at the different level. It concerns a reflexive relation to the self in which the individual is less concerned with protesting about the actions of others than with taking controls of the shape of his or her own life through the negotiation of self-identity.

The life politics ‘is a politics of self-actualization in a reflexivity links itself and body systems of global scope. As it becomes possible for individual to construct personal identities in a reflexively organized environment, so identity has become a social issues, a topic for public debate, and a site of political change.” Giddens, Anthony (1991:214).