MAS 961 · Designing Sociable Media
Instructor: Judith Donath

3.14 · Identity


These readings all address the communicative aspect of identity - how people construct the identity they present to the outside world and how others perceive it.

assignment   · critiques and sketches here

1. Please read the articles listed above. The Goffman and Holland & Skinner articles are available outside room 449; there is also a link to a .pdf online.

2. Observe someone you do not know. Try to describe him or her as well as you can - not just what you can see, but what you imagine about them. Are they outgoing? highly educated? fond of dancing? how are they employed? would you like to spend time talking with them? This can be a person in real life or online; it can be someone you simply observe or someone you meet and interact with.

3. Write not only your description of this person, but of the process by which you formed your impression - what details made you think as you did and why? Use the readings as background for this essay - how do they (or do they not) frame the way you constructed a sense of the identity of the other?

Please submit the URL of your critique and sketch online by Monday evening. Copies of the readings are available outside of E15-449.