Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Arpad Szakolczai
2021 Unknown
The Technologisation of the Social: A political anthropology of the digital machine
Communication as theatricalisation: Self-presentation in the digital age,
London & New York
In Press
Optional Fields
This chapter explores the mutation of the theatricalisation of social life in the current, hyper-modern digital age. It addresses a general question that seems very simple but that becomes more and more complicated the more we try to explore its meaning: how did communication change with the increasing ‘progress’ of technological digitalisation? It starts by discussing the meaning, and non-existence, of ‘communication’, assigning primacy instead to personal presence. It then discusses the various ‘subject positions’ assumed by distance communication, focusing on how such communication interferes with and alters presence, further promoting the theatricalization of social life. This is illustrated by the way self-presentation takes place in online meetings, and the assumed self-presentation while writing email letters, leading to the concluding inference that electronic media destroy participation and belongingness and transform everyone into an external, outsider spectator position. The concluding section argues that the intellectual position making such entrapment possible can be perceived in Hegel’s refusal of accepting the existence unmediated experiences.
Paul O’Connor and Marius Ion Bența
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