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Performing embodied identity in virtual worlds

Schultze, Ulrike LU (2014) In European Journal of Information Systems 23(1). p.84-95
Abstract
Embodied identity, that is, who we are as a result of our interactions with the world around us with and through our bodies, is increasingly challenged in online environments where identity performances are seemingly untethered from the user's body that is sitting at the computer. Even though disembodiment has been severely criticized in the literature, most conceptualizations of the role of users' bodies in virtuality nevertheless reflect a representational logic, which fails to capture contemporary users' experience of cyborgism. Relying on data collected from nine entrepreneurs in the virtual world Second Life (SL), this paper asks how embodied identity is performed in virtual worlds. Contrasting representationalism with performativity,... (More)
Embodied identity, that is, who we are as a result of our interactions with the world around us with and through our bodies, is increasingly challenged in online environments where identity performances are seemingly untethered from the user's body that is sitting at the computer. Even though disembodiment has been severely criticized in the literature, most conceptualizations of the role of users' bodies in virtuality nevertheless reflect a representational logic, which fails to capture contemporary users' experience of cyborgism. Relying on data collected from nine entrepreneurs in the virtual world Second Life (SL), this paper asks how embodied identity is performed in virtual worlds. Contrasting representationalism with performativity, this study highlights that the SL entrepreneurs intentionally re-presented in their avatars some of the attributes of physical bodies, but that they also engaged in habitual practices in-world, thereby unconsciously enacting embodied identities in both their 'real' and virtual lives. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
identity, virtual worlds, avatars
in
European Journal of Information Systems
volume
23
issue
1
pages
84 - 95
publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
external identifiers
  • wos:000329350500007
  • scopus:84891472531
ISSN
0960-085X
DOI
10.1057/ejis.2012.52
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
57b892da-3ccc-4e2f-9b0c-4c9deafbdb56 (old id 4327032)
date added to LUP
2014-03-03 08:59:09
date last changed
2017-08-27 03:40:05
@article{57b892da-3ccc-4e2f-9b0c-4c9deafbdb56,
  abstract     = {Embodied identity, that is, who we are as a result of our interactions with the world around us with and through our bodies, is increasingly challenged in online environments where identity performances are seemingly untethered from the user's body that is sitting at the computer. Even though disembodiment has been severely criticized in the literature, most conceptualizations of the role of users' bodies in virtuality nevertheless reflect a representational logic, which fails to capture contemporary users' experience of cyborgism. Relying on data collected from nine entrepreneurs in the virtual world Second Life (SL), this paper asks how embodied identity is performed in virtual worlds. Contrasting representationalism with performativity, this study highlights that the SL entrepreneurs intentionally re-presented in their avatars some of the attributes of physical bodies, but that they also engaged in habitual practices in-world, thereby unconsciously enacting embodied identities in both their 'real' and virtual lives.},
  author       = {Schultze, Ulrike},
  issn         = {0960-085X},
  keyword      = {identity,virtual worlds,avatars},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {84--95},
  publisher    = {Palgrave Macmillan},
  series       = {European Journal of Information Systems},
  title        = {Performing embodied identity in virtual worlds},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/ejis.2012.52},
  volume       = {23},
  year         = {2014},
}