Collective Identity: Essential Areas of Exploration
The New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner, 1993
      • How do the contemporary media represent nations, regions and ethnic/social/collective groups of people in different ways? 
      • How does contemporary representation compare to previous time periods? 
      • What are the social implications of different media representations of groups of people? 
      • To what extent is human identity increasingly ‘mediated’?
A focus on identity requires us to play close attention to the diverse ways in which media and technologies are used in everyday life, and their consequences both for individuals and for social groups.

Buckingham, 2008

"The presentation of self" (Goffman, 1990) is a combination of practises - such as the clothes we wear, the media we consume, the people we like - that amounts to an idea we have of how others see us.

Teachers, celebrities, footballers: - professional identity and social identity

Minority groups: - all have cause for concern about how others make assumptions about them based on their identity, e.g. Muslims, disabled people, the elderly, tattooed people, homosexual people, teenagers, Australians, etc.
Identity is complicated. Everyone thinks they've got one. Magazines and talk show hosts urge us to explore out 'identity'. Religious and national identities are at the heart of major international conflicts. Artists play with the idea of 'identity' in modern society. Blockbuster movie superheroes have emotional conflicts about their 'true' identity. And the average teenager can create three online 'identities' before breakfast... Thinking about self-identity and individuality can cause some anxiety - at least in cultures where individuals are encouraged to value their personal uniqueness. Each of us would like to think - to some extent - that we have special, personal qualities, which make us distinctive and valuable to the other people in our lives (or potential future friends). But does this mean anything? 
Is individuality just an illusion? 
Maybe we are all incredibly similar, but are programmed to value minuscule bits of differentiation.

Gauntlett, 2007