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Features of self-design in the virtual world / Особенности самоконструирования в виртуальном мире

Коркия Эка Демуриевна

ORCID: 0000-0003-3136-8433

кандидат социологических наук

доцент кафедры социологии коммуникативных систем Московского государственного университета имени М.В. Ломоносова

119234, Россия, г. Москва, ул. Ленинские Горы, 1, стр. 33

Korkiya Eka Demurievna

PhD in Sociology

Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology of Communication Systems at Lomonosov Moscow State University

119234, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Leninskie Gory, 1, str. 33

eka_korkiya@mail.ru
Мамедов Агамали Куламович

доктор социологических наук

профессор, заведующий кафедрой социологии коммуникативных систем Московского государственного университета имени М.В. Ломоносова

119234, Россия, г. Москва, ул. Ленинские Горы, 1, стр. 33

Mamedov Agamali Kulamovich

Doctor of Sociology

Professor, Head of the Department of Sociology of Communication Systems, Lomonosov Moscow State University

119234, Russia, g. Moscow, ul. Leninskie Gory, 1, str. 33

akmnauka@yandex.ru

DOI:

10.25136/2409-7144.2022.3.37580

Дата направления статьи в редакцию:

19-02-2022


Дата публикации:

03-04-2022


Аннотация: Статья посвящена особенностям самоконструирования в виртуальном мире. Авторы констатируют, что современный научный дискурс содержит в себе два существенно различающихся взгляда на идентичность, развивающуюся в условиях виртуальности. Первый основывается на утверждении о том, что виртуальная идентичность обладает собственной автономностью и независимостью от идентичности реальной. Вместе с тем самоконструирование или самопрезентация в виртуальном мире компенсирует нехватку сопереживания и внимания личности к себе в реальной жизни. Наиболее распространенным способом повышения внимания к себе является создание оригинального авторского контента (текстового и визуального). Авторы подчеркивают, что цифровая природа современной коммуникации предоставляет оригинальную возможность моделирования собственного ограниченного или неограниченного виртуального пространства, переключения его «режимов» или регуляции его доступности для других пользователей. Это виртуальное пространство используется личностью не только для общения, развлечения, удовлетворения каких-либо культурных и духовных потребностей, но и, в первую очередь, для собственной самопрезентации, которая является неотъемлемой частью процесса конструирования идентичности. Идентичность в виртуальном мире становится довольно противоречивой по своему содержанию: с одной стороны, авторы зафиксировали пространство виртуальных социальных сетей как особое собственное жизненное пространство (приватное пространство), с другой стороны, сами практики конструирования идентичности из-за публичного характера самопрезентации, ориентированного на мнение «Другого», становятся частью открытого потока информации, что приводит к размыванию сфер публичного и приватного. Вместе с тем самопрезентация в виртуальном пространстве компенсирует нехватку сопереживания и внимания личности к себе в реальной жизни. Таким образом, одним из самых радикальных взглядов на идентичность в научных парадигмах является тезис о так называемой «нулевой идентичности», который имеет множество толкований, однако в целом выражает распад идентичности с сопутствующим эффектом утраты потребности в идентификации вообще.


Ключевые слова: идентичность, история, новые формы самоидентификации, автобиография, личность, виртуальный мир, вируальное пространство, социальная общность, социология коммуникаций, социальные процессы

Abstract: Modern scientific discourse contains two significantly different views on the identity that develops in virtuality. The first is based on the assertion that the virtual identity has its own autonomy and independence from the real identity. At the same time, self-construction or self-presentation in the virtual world compensates for the lack of empathy and attention of the individual to himself in real life. The most common way to increase attention to yourself is to create original author's content (text and visual). The digital nature of modern communication provides an original opportunity to model one's own limited or unlimited virtual space, switch its "modes" or regulate its availability for other users. This virtual space is used by a person not only for communication, entertainment, satisfaction of any cultural and spiritual needs, but also, first of all, for his own self-presentation, which is an integral part of the identity construction process. Identity in the virtual world becomes quite controversial in its content: on the one hand, the authors have fixed the space of virtual social networks as a special living space of their own (private space), on the other hand, the practices of constructing identity themselves due to the public nature of opinion-oriented self-presentation " Another”, become part of the open flow of information, which leads to the blurring of the spheres of public and private.



Keywords:

identity, history, new forms of self-identification, autobiography, personality, virtual world, virtual space, social community, sociology of communications, social processes

The analysis of new fields and forms of self-representation of the personality, with necessity, leads us to the construction of social optics of research, to the involvement of a broad cultural background. «Flushing» of faces of real and virtual worldview updates the question of different forms of self-representation and self-construction, among which the autobiography is especially distinguished, which as a special field of self-realization in scientific discourse has a rather long history. In the scientific field, the importance of the autobiography as a subject of research is revealed from the perspective of its content, a spatial-temporal reflex characterized by a certain historical and sociocultural context. From a sociological perspective, the study of personal history is related to the reconstruction of subjective experience in relation to social background. Thus, the interpretive approach to the «history of life» (individual individuals or social groups) becomes the basis for the basic research strategies of the Chicago School [23], starting with the classical work «Polish peasant in Europe and America» [19], which legitimized in social sciences the method of personal letters and documents.

Devaluation of social («end of social») and spread of the narrative of multiple identities «in conditions of instability and ephemeralism of the environment the individual is forced to constantly recreate his «I» in order to adjust to it, and it is a forced measure and a constant transformation of identity that requires a great deal of effort, time and money» [18] . The design of short life projects and many unstable behavior patterns leads to «feverish search for identity» [24], that is to identity crisis. It is accompanied by emotional tension, which gives rise to aggression in pursuit of own «I». Identity is thus temporary, constructed and «the result of the articulation of subjects in the discourse stream» [24]. The specified discourse is defined by the stipulation that «a person must define his «me» from a variety of variants» [27]. Self-identification takes place in a space where identity is a problem «is not so much to make others recognize it, but rather to choose which identity and how to make another choice in time if the previously chosen identity loses value or loses its seductive features» [5]. The virtual space gives more freedom to the person in the construction of identity, possesses a variety of technologies to create the image of the «user», from the constructed biographical block to the processing of personal photos with the aim of creating, for example, desirable and attractive looks. The phenomenon of online identification contributes to the emergence of a particular type of personality - virtual identity - and marks the emergence of new forms of self-identification.

Modern scientific discourse contains two significantly different views of identity evolving under virtual conditions. The first is based on the proposition that virtual identity has its own autonomy and independence from real identity. Identity is recognized as the product of a person’s activity exclusively in a network space: «I is what I write» [21]. However, it should be noted that this approach is quite contradictory: it eliminates the influence of the «spectator» [28] who, significantly losing his locality, still remains a real actor of self-identification.

Blurring of boundaries between public and private is a common trend of Internet communications, any communicative act is characterized by openness, which maximally satisfies the individual’s need to present himself «to the other». This can be demonstrated by the exponential growth of blog-platforms with millions of audiences, which are conducted with quite real authors, often not concealing their «ascetic characteristics (gender, age, ethnicity)». In the book «Peeping Nation: Media, Privacy and Piring in Modern Culture, Calvert compares modern «voyeurism» with the film «The Truman Show», which received a resonant response from the public. Thus, in «Washington Post» the film was called one of the smartest and most inventive, emphasizing the beautiful illustration of the problem of «the rise of ordinary voyeurism» [9] in the context of the development of information technologies and restriction of the individual’s right to privacy.

But the devaluation of privacy and the transfer of private or open content to the public is, according to Calvert, more of a matter of the consent of the individuals themselves, who knowingly and willingly allow us to intrude into their lives. Therefore bloggers and media personalities Calvert describes «as exhibitionists» [9] as exhibitionists who pursue goals such as self-determination and self-assertion through communication with an indirect information-communication audience, on the one hand, and the transformation of personal data or personal opinion into a mechanism for influencing public opinion on the other.

The dense integration of virtual networks into familiar interactions between people allows individuals to operate simultaneously two representational fields: a social world with certain limits and limitations for self-categorization («Differentiation by sex, age, nationality, professional, religious affiliation») [7] and absolutely boundless, mobile world of virtual space with «liquid» ontological status and «instantaneous history»which is fundamentally unsuited to the classical methods and paradigms of the modern era [28].

The English autobiography of the 20th century is represented by the names G. Wells and G. Chesterton. The dichotomy of factor/fictition, defining character of autobiographical genre, tries to resolve in book «Design and truth in autobiography» R. Pascal. Noting as a virtue the synthesis of artistic design and the truth of fact characterizing autobiography at the present stage, Pascal considers it to be a literary genre and believes that as such it deserves to be studied not only as a fact of history, but also as a fact of literature.

Some traditional scholars, including Pascal, consider the existence of biographical material, the identity of the author, narrator and hero, first-person narrative, and linear chronology to be mandatory in the autobiography genre. Proponents of free interpretation: J. Gusdorf, W. Spangman, J. Olney, U. Schumaker believes that the autobiographer has the right to represent himself in whatever form he deems appropriate and convenient, and that any work that performs the reconstruction of the author’s personality is autobiography.

The methodology of biography studies distinctly identifies three perspectives. The first one focuses on the concept of a life construct, combining the search for social content in biographical material. This strategy is characteristic of hermeneutic research focusing on a subjective understanding of the meanings of the «life-line» being studied.

Autobiography is regarded as a communicative creative act capable of recreating the author’s identity or subjectivity, and we are guided by the popular definition of F. Lejeune’s autobiography. On the basis of the autobiographical concept of the genre triad proposed by Gusdorf, which includes three components - historical, literary, anthropological, where the latter is seen as unifying and transforming literary autobiography into a universal and constantly updated genre. Autobiography as a genre refers to «writing a story about itself»; although the term is introduced into scientific circulation only from the end of 18 in, the history of the existence of the genre [3] its roots are found also in the ancient literary heritage («Apology of Socrates», «Fedon»).

Popular today autobiography gives a detailed overview of the history of the study of autodocumentary genres (mainly autobiography) in four sections:

1. The emergence of autobiography as a subject of scientific study;

2. Current critical interest and problem of definition;

3. Autobiography as a source of information;

4. Autobiography as a literary form.

Spangmann notes that a strong scientific interest in the genre arose in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s, and one of the most important issues raised then was the issue of genre definitions. The wide variation in the definitions of the boundaries and features of the autodocumentary genres of Spangmann explains, inter alia, that the definitions were not derived from the texts, but were created a priori and used to single out the texts.

We can agree with P. J. Jakin asserts that «the definitions of autobiography were never final, but they reflect characteristic assumptions about what can be the most slippery of literary genres».

Definition of autobiography proposed by Lejeune: «Autobiography is a prosaic text with a retrospective attitude, through which the real person tells about his own existence, and emphasizes precisely on his personal life, especially on the story of becoming his personality» [30]. Lejeune considers as one of the criteria of his autobiography the unified, fixed position of the author in time, which supports the retrospective of the narrative and provides a coherent, coherent reproduction of the author’s past and his personality. These far from incontrovertible definitions either push the works into a rigid framework, or eventually blur genre the boundaries.

In poststructuralist theory, autobiography was reconstructed as a constructive and self-referenced project. According to Prosser, it is the blurring of the distinction between autobiography and fiction that is the key contribution of poststructuralism to autobiographical research. In another sufficiently significant work on poststructuralism of Paul de Man «Autobiography as a person» autobiography is used as a metaphor - as a person or a figure, revealing a certain part of the fictivity of autobiography: autobiography - not a reflection, a created product; it is not revelation, but form of person or mask - «illusion of link», «relation of structure of a figure», «something similar to fiction».

As Spangman points out, the consequence of this metaphor is a question of the legitimacy of the general approach: the concept of genre ultimately becomes useless in relation to autobiography. The solution to this problem is already taken in the poststructuralism of M. Springer [30] who considers the attempt of structuralism to define autobiography as a separate genre as a hopeless task. In the book «The End of Autobiography» he illustrates his conviction that «autobiography is fundamentally unstable and therefore unclassified». Sprinker cancels the distinction between autobiography and fiction, leading to the fact that without personal identification (I-self) «to perform actions, to have feelings and qualities, the possibility of «having a history of own existence» is impossible. Accordingly, it is not only the author who tells the story of his life, but also the artist who translates it through the linguistic practices of constructing reality.

Despite the theoretical demonstration of the end of autobiography in poststructuralism, autobiography continues to be a contemporary genre. In this connection , let us accept the definition of Lejeune’s autobiography as a working definition that we will use in empirical analysis of autobiographical texts: «A retrospective prosaic story written by a real person about his own existence, where the focus is on his individual life, in particular his personal history» [23]. Although this definition (a treaty between the reader and the writer) inevitably simplifies and ignores the fascinating areas of intersection between autobiography and fiction, it provides sufficiently accessible technical means to determine the content of the narrative.

Although the theme of identity is the least developed by these authors, their designs often present categories that are not capable of objective sociological interpretation (energy, field, need, valence, force and vector, etc.)We allow such historiography only to trace the genesis of identities in general to the period prior to the development of E. Erickson’s fundamental classical identity theory. The theme of identity becomes central to a series of works, starting with E. Fromm, who interprets identity as a process of separating an individual from nature (by satisfying the need to overcome, expressed by the person overcoming its animal nature and being embodied in, for example, art) and establishing «social roots». Thus, the key human need of a person in the formation of identity Fromm calls «need in connection with the surrounding world» [28].

In the middle of the 20th century, Erikson’s writings [28] gave their full expression to the issue of identity. Presented by him «eight age periods of man» are an original and productive attempt to redefine Freud’s legacy in understanding the structure of personality and the role of the environment in its development. Erickson’s theory of personality emphasizes the integrity of the individual from birth to deep old age, her creative development in the process of life under the influence of culture, identity and self-worth»: unexpectedly emerging identity brings a bridge between the stages of childhood, where the physical and parental images are given their cultural connotations; it also connects the bridge and the stages of early adulthood, when multiple social roles become available and, in fact, increasingly coercive. We will try to clarify this process by first looking at some of the child’s steps in the direction of identity, and then some of the obstacles posed by culture on the child’s difficult path to identity» [33]. Understanding identity as «the transition of a life experience into an individual I», Erikson shares an individual, personal and social identity:

1. An indigenous identity is linked to a person’s awareness of the «continuity of his existence in time and space» [19].

2. Personal identification is defined by a sense of uniqueness and uniqueness (the result of Ego’s work).

3. Social identification refers to a person’s relationship to indicators of social groups: goals, values, norms and ideals.

Erickson’s self-identification includes, on the one hand, an individual experience of oneself, and, on the other hand, a sense of the increasing role of social expectations towards oneself. The connection between the individual and the social begins to grow with age and to some extent organizes the development of the personality. Self-identification as a process is dynamic, constructed and arises from experience: «the formation of identity begins on the basis of selective rejection or assimilation of multiple identities» [2]. Dynamism stems from the two-way need for recognition between society and the individual. Within the framework of a certain social reality «direct perception of one’s own self» is carried out in the process of identification and recognition of a person by society. Society itself ensures the successful socialization of the individual when it assimilates accepted norms and sociocultural practices.

Erikson’s understanding of identity is later extrapolated by J. Marcia, which also refers to identity as a dynamic structure of ego that includes needs, abilities, beliefs, and individual social experience, but sets a new parameter for identity. They are distinguished by their achieved, premature, diffused and moratorial identity. Each species is a unique stage in the individual’s self-identification: beginning with a premature identity, when a person realizes a priori the parameters given to him - demographic and gender characteristics (gender, age), social characteristics (name, values and norms of the primary group - families), and finishing with the achieved identity, which can be likened to Erickson’s I-identity, i.e. the product of personal experience of self-determination in relation to social acceptance. The identity achieved symbolizes the integrity of the individual, which has undergone a process of diffusion - a lack of precise and clear values and a passive attitude to finding oneself, and a moratorium - a phase of the identity crisis itself, which can manifest itself in varying degrees of emotional continuum from feelings of joy to feelings of fear and depression [2].

Self-identification is thus a process of identifying an identity that interprets a person’s special connection to the social world. Identity-building is an ongoing process of self-determination and responsiveness to social reality [5]. At the same time, unconscious identification or introduction as identification characteristics, put forward in psychoanalysis, represent only one of the aspects of self-identification of the individual, which, «records the unity of intra-personal and socio-cultural processes» [13].

For sociology, this fixation is unique in the study of the shift from traditional social connections to individualism. The functional reading of social development, postulating a rigid determinant of the individual by social institutions, has lost its relevance since the 1960s XX B. Historical events show that the individual aspires to be freed from social status, roles, structures and practices. The vector of identity moves from the pole of establishing a connection with any social group to the pole of affirmation and acquisition of some internal «I», the sole and identical to itself.

In the process of participating in social interaction, the individual begins to think of himself as an object. Thus, in the field of sociology there appears «reflexive personality», in which the attitude towards oneself as an object of knowledge serves as the nucleus of self consciousness. «I» reflex personality always acts in the social context in which there are other «I» [34].

Thus, symbolic interactionism understands society through interpretations and definitions of actors in different social situations. The interpretation of meanings gives a person an additional component of his self-interest - acting. The identification of the actor’s personality is based on an attempt to adapt his strategies of action to the situation and interest in it. From this point of view, one can conclude that a society is always dynamic precisely because of individuals who freely determine the situation, their interest in it and the necessary actions to achieve the goal without creating static structures of interaction.

The methodological context for the study of identity in symbolic interactionism involves the analysis of social interaction through the relationship between the two systems of personality (self) and society. The result of this interaction is «self-identification» and there is self-identification - synthesis of social activity of a specific person and its biography. Meade distinguishes two types of identity: perceived (indicating individual autonomy and freedom in action and strategy) and unconscious (conformal individual acceptance of accepted social practices). The unique position in Meade’s theory of self is symbolic communication, which serves as a linguistic and social lens of the world: «rid the world of clearly defined communities, we create a space for greater differentiation, in which individuals are capable of self-determination in more universal terms» [30].

Going on, J. Meada, G. Bloomer, focused on the role of meaning in personality behavior: the conscious life of a person from the time he wakes up in the morning until he falls asleep in the evening is a continuous flow of shaping the meaning of the things he deals with and takes into account. Thus, the person, his organism interacts with the surrounding world by means of a mechanism of value formation» [7]. According to Bloumer, the interplay includes elements of interpretation and design. The interpretation looks like a set of values attributed to the individual to the surrounding objects, and the design includes the image of the self and the social expectations associated with it [36]. Identity thus arises as a result of the dialogue between «I» and «Me», and is formed only in the presence of other people [10].

The proper reading of the problem of identity at the level of symbolic interstock suggests C. Cooley, the creator of the theory of «mirror I» and the author of the concept of small first groups. The theory of «mirror I» is essentially a theory of «social I», and its fundamental idea dates back to the works of J. Dewey and W. Jemsa, who spoke of the fact that a person has as many «social I» as there are groups of people for whose opinion the person experiences. In fact, Cooley calls our perception of ourselves a reflexive imagination of how other people react to us. The more favorably evaluated the image put forward by the person, the higher the frequency of repetition of those actions that contribute to the image. If the image is unfavourable, the personality changes its behavior and changes it to another. The idea of his own «I», arising in the consciousness of other people, Cooley called «representation»: «Social self of this kind can be called reflected, or mirror, self... We see our face, our figure and our clothes in the mirror, and we are interested in them, because they are all ours, we are happy with them or not, according to what we would like them to be. And of course also in the imagination we perceive in the mind of another some idea about our appearance, manners, intentions, deeds, character, friends, and it influences us in a very different way» [26]. In this way, the notion of identity is complemented by the possibility of predicting social ties and the possibility of close or conversely personal relationships.

In the context of social conditioning of the role of personality, identity was considered by I. Hoffmann, who combined in his dramatic approach the tradition of symbolic interactionism and the heritage of the anthropological tradition of E. Durkheim. Hoffman focuses research on three types of identity:

1) Social identity - a type of identity associated with a certain stereotyping of the characteristics of an individual, based on the attributes of the social community in which it is included;

2) Identity - a type of identity that denotes some of the unique attributes of the individual that he or she has developed as a result of social experience;

3) Identity «I» - symbolizes a personal feeling of oneself within a particular sociocultural reality [19].

The identity theories discussed above are unique in characterizing the transition phase of society. First of all, they contain an audit of classical identities. The British sociologist E. Giddens, author of structure theory, notes that modern society is a society of developed modernity - «modernity». Self-identification becomes an integral part of modern society. Even those who have never considered questions about their own identity inevitably face the need to choose their identity, ranging from simple and routine questions about clothing or appearance to persuasion and worldview. Giddens distinguishes two historical eras: the traditional societies and the modern society [17]. While in societies the traditional social order gave people more or less defined axes of social roles, in post-radicalization societies individuals themselves must find ways of their identity, define social roles and move along with them. The significance of identity issues in modern society is also a consequence of changes in «macro-aspects»: states, multinational capitalist corporations, urbanization, globalization, etc. The identity of the individual and its identity in this context is a «micro-dimension». Previously treated separately from each other, now, says Giddens, self-identification and backrounded social phenomena are synthesized into unified scientific knowledge.

Giddens is the first to raise the issue of the contrast and opposition of traditional cultures with modern ones. The reflexion of modernity is linked to the construction of personality, since both social practices and forms of social life radically transform and modify individual needs. Under the influence of secularism, individualism, the culture of consumption «I» becomes brittle and fragmented. Social ties are weakened, disunity is cultivated and concern is cultivated with his «I»: «The individual faces a complex variety of elections, at the same time without much help in what particular options should be chosen» [17]. Giddens uses such a category as «lifestyle» - a routine practice of behavior that exists to change its identity. Constant search makes self-identity flexible, it becomes a project that can be unconditionally modified: «We are not who we are, but who we make ourselves» [17]. Thus, Giddens claims that «I» in modern times becomes an open reflexive project.

For most of history, autobiography contributed to the creation of a model that presupposes self-identification as an autonomous entity. In this strongly individualistic approach, based on the innovative essay of Gusdorf, where «I» is perceived as something separate and unique, which is a product of the Enlightenment. Individualism’s argumentation as a prerequisite for autobiography: true identity is individual and arises if «man does not oppose others» and «does not feel existing outside of others, much less against others, but very much with others in interdependent existence» [4].

The main features of the era of new individualism are recognized as the «relentless rethinking of oneself, the desire for instantaneous change, the increase of dynamism and the acceleration of individualisation, the concern over the speed and fragmentation of events» [2]. The speed of globalization is constantly changing and transforming the structure of individual self-determination. The new individualism pays a lot of attention in the process of self-identification of a person to the emotional experience arising from the relationship between «I»-image and society against the background of growing globalization, new information technologies and transformation of capitalism. Constant reconsideration of oneself corresponds to constant revision and change of social structures, at the same time accompanying self-identification with a feeling of panic, huge mental load and infinite «updates» of trends of modernity.

H. Rose emphasizes in this process the special role of the activities of so-called «experts», who, feeling the lack of independence of the individual in constructing their identity, purposefully exert psychological influence on him by means of special techniques of influence. It is interesting in this context that Rose interprets the self-identity of modern man as being limited to models of choice provided by expert groups [29]. The generation of models of behavior and templates of life strategy becomes a special form of work on creation of «lifestyle» as an attempt to escape from risk of loss of identity. This thesis is well analyzed in the works of K. Lash, which develops the concept of «minimum I» in the society of multiple false presentations: Not hoping to improve their lives in any effective way, people convince themselves of the importance of psychological self-improvement; of touching their feelings, eating healthy food, learning ballet or belly dancing, diving into Oriental wisdom, running in the mornings, learning about human relationships, overcoming fear of pleasure. Harmless on their own, such actions, raised to the level of the living program and packaged in rhetoric of authenticity and awareness, indicate a departure from politics» [8]. Lash notes not only the separation of the individual from himself, but also «the severance of the fundamental bond between the two components of identity: social identity and ego-identity, the substitution of the individual, personal beginning with a cumulative set of different models of representation» [30].

The cult of multiple identities is shaped in hyperreality, a phenomenon that describes the simulated nature of contemporary reality. The term «hyperreality» was introduced by French sociologist J. Baudrillard. Hyperreality he calls «simulation of what never really existed», «technical insanity of perfect and superaccurate reproduction», «infinite reproduction, microdetail of objects, transformation of them into model series» [22]. In the context of the theoretical provisions of J. Baudrillard, the simulation and simulation of social space through images broadcast by mass communication channels plays an enormous role in the process of self-identification. Empathy for the real subject is replaced by empathy and empathy for the subject’s image. Physical reality and hyperreality form some hybrid when mixed, and provide a very attractive platform for the individual to represent himself by others, or otherwise - to identify his «I». In the article «Communication Ecstasy» [22] the study of new forms of social form is carried out through the description of transformations of individuality, changes of mechanisms of self identification of the person, perceived by it of its relationship with social space, representations about the other.

There is a growing individualisation, in the terminology of Baudrillard «reality satellite» or «hyperrealism of simulation», the sovereignty and independence of the individual, located at the junction of a set of networks regulating at a distance consumption, game, social relations and leisure, housework. Space collapses, its own body, its own space, and its habitat are marginalized, and it’s nowhere near the global network. The physical forces and movements of the body are replaced by electrical signals that process and execute the machine.

Simultaneously with the folding of personal space and the movement of individuals' vital activities in the instant communication network, Baudrillard proclaims the deconstruction of a public scene, Disintegration of political and social space - the sphere of public space disappears with the disappearance of the private scene. Modern communication networks connect all spheres of life, erasing boundaries and distances [22].

One of the most radical views on identity in the post-modernist paradigm is the thesis of so-called «zero identity», which has many interpretations, but generally expresses the breakdown of identity with the concomitant effect of the loss of the need for identification at all. Among the reasons for the emergence of zero identity is both the above simulation of reality and the cessation of the existence of real experience with the real «other Self» necessary for the demonstration and co-measurement of itself. The continuum of manifestations of the concept of zero identity is from the paradox of the death of A. Camus («when I died, there was no one who would deny it») and the problem of copies (whether a copy of the person would be the copy of the person itself and where is the demarcation line delineating the boundary between them) before various mental experiments, such as the teleportation paradox [33] of Derek Parfit, which in the book «Causes and Personalities» offers an original revision of the criteria for the definition of identity. Parfit raises the question of identity of the individual while travelling through a teleport. In addition, if the teleport is improved, the traveller can simply be copied. But is there a criterion that would determine whether each copy leaving the teleport is identical to the person entering it? In other words, will the reconstructed duplicate be able to have the same identity as the original? The answer to this question remains open both to Parfit himself and to all modern-day identity discourse.

In a world of information and communication technologies, virtual reality has a huge impact on identity. New motives, interests, goals, psychological and social forms of activity are emerging. The idea of virtual reality as a separate world from social reality, accessible perception and touch has a long history. The word «virtual» takes its origins from the Latin language and is interpreted as a certain reality, the internal laws of which are different from the order of reality that generates it. The concept of «virtual» was used in the meaning of expanding the boundaries of human consciousness at the level of mythology in archaic culture, in Antiquity and scholastic. Each time in such cases, our consciousness produces simplified images of potential objects and phenomena from social reality. Religious thinking, scientific and everyday thinking, mathematical sciences, our mental and emotional state all have, in part, the characteristics of virtual - subjectivity and reflexivity: Virtual reality, being the inner state of the subject, can be caused by external causes and external circumstances (natural phenomena, computer technologies, art, etc.) or internal causes (internal feelings, somatic condition)» [3, 7].

It is obvious that the idea of virtual is closely related to the idea of constructing a new reality, but in ontology has no connection with computer technology. Thus, the culturologist A.J. Flier defines virtual as the newly invented cultural channel of reproduction of the mythological world: «no new virtual reality computers to us did not compose, because they did not invent culture» [13].

Virtuality is also defined as a «social quasi-reality», placing it in the same row as various forms of human mental state, associated with mechanisms of manipulation technologies and ideological regimes, or, in the expression of M. Castels, «symbolic environment»: «in all societies mankind existed in a symbolic environment and acted through it». Thus, the broadest definition of virtual can be considered everything that «incorporates in itself the complete set of ideal environments as a form of manifestation of personal» and its system-forming features - intangibility, conditionality and ephemerality [10].

With the age of information technology and computer engineering, the concept of «virtual» assumes a new meaning related to processes and phenomena taking place within Internet networks that model new worlds (game/communication/information). Almost completely copying social reality and displaying the electronic technology we use. The category «network» for designating a virtual Internet space is the main one in the analysis of processes and phenomena occurring in the information society. According to this thesis, in this work virtual space influencing a change of identity will also be understood as «network», since it is exactly that «is the basis of the functioning of the Internet, and it is the network that funders practically all social interactions in modern society, characterised therefore as network» [29].

In contrast to the technological, social-communicative vector concentrates on the Internet as a kind of social space, a unique mediator that mediates communication between people. It is this direction that is developing within the framework of modern sociological science, in which three key theories have emerged that use the network as a definite concept to explain the influence of the Internet on the essence of the dynamics of social interaction: the theory of the network society, Network analysis theory, network theory [29].

M. Castells, which made the network principle itself widely known in science, writes that network logic, developed initially in the production sphere, has extended to human relations in everyday life [10]. The development of the network structure creates a new configuration of social relations and thus makes it possible to measure the impact of the information revolution in all spheres of society, since the dominant processes are based on the concentration of all kinds of network interactions. The space generated by social networks, which goes beyond the boundaries of nation states, Castells calls «real virtuality» [10], it indicates a fundamentally new meaning of the network metaphor, which now consists in the total penetration of information technologies into the life of man and society. An important principle of his theory is that the morphology and type of connections in a network have priority over the specific content of network nodes. This principle has already been derived from the consideration of network theories within the post-modernist paradigm. Networks radically transform social space and time, discrediting these categories themselves. The invasive, pervasive nature of the applications of new technologies and, with them, new forms of social organization have led to the emergence of a new social order based on the transformation of a broad-temporal social reality.

The study of identity transformation in the space created by electronic networks began almost simultaneously with the introduction of information technologies at all levels of social organization. In European science, interest in this topic dates back to the 19th century, in the age of telegraph (the problem of «anonymity» of messages) [17].

Modern scientific discourse contains two extreme approaches to identity that evolve under virtual conditions. The first is based on the proposition that virtual identity has its own autonomy and independence from real identity. Identity is recognized as the product of a person’s activity exclusively in a network space: «I is what I write» [11]. However, it should be noted that this approach is quite contradictory: it reduces (or does not take into account) the influence of the «viewer» [20] which, if we turn to the first chapter, substantially losing its locality, still remains a real actor of self-identification. Blurring of the boundaries between public and private is a general trend of Internet communication, it leads to that any communicative act is characterized by openness, which maximally satisfies the individual’s need to present himself «to the other». Proof of this can be seen in the avalanche popularization of blog-platforms with millions of audiences, which are not conducted by anonymous virtual personalities, but by quite real authors, often not concealing their «ascetic characteristics (sex, age, ethnicity)» [9] But the devaluation of privacy and the transfer of private or open content to the public is, according to Calvert, more of a matter of the consent of the individuals themselves, who knowingly and willingly allow us to intrude into their lives. Therefore bloggers and media personalities in general Calvert describes «as exhibitionists» [9] as exhibitionists who pursue such goals as self-determination and self-assertion through communication with an indirect informational-communicative audience, on the one hand, and the transformation of personal data or personal opinion into a mechanism for influencing public opinion on the other. There is no doubt that the same goals are pursued by the individual in the process of real identification. The question of why we enter the network every day, communicate, share our news and read what others write becomes devoid of any particular ontological virtual background - we do it for the same reasons, In general we want to interact with each other and participate in real interactions - for communication and subsequent identification of ourselves.

The dense integration of virtual networks into familiar interactions between people allows individuals to operate simultaneously two representational fields: a social world with certain limits and limitations for self-categorization («Differentiation by sex, age, nationality, professional, religious affiliation») [1] and absolutely boundless, mobile world of virtual space with «liquid» ontological status and «instantaneous history» which is fundamentally unsuited to the classical methods and paradigms of the modern era [3]. The second approach to the study of virtual identity has a much broader understanding of virtual space, defining it as a set of resources and possibilities to complement real activity with virtual attributes and personality as subject, transferring real or desired socio-demographic and cultural characteristics into a virtual space for reflection and formation of own «I».

In 2005, within the framework of the project «Connected to Life» carried out qualitative research using SNA methodology with detailed review of personal profiles in social networks to explain the phenomenon of «network individualism». Welman himself associates online individualism on the one hand with a general sociocultural background, manifested in the change of importance for individuals of social connections and the proliferation of a huge number of devices distributing instant messages, chat rooms, mailings, blogs and photo blogs, All possible podcasts and broadcasts - large-scale «textual, vocal and visual expansion» [35], which, of course, does not lead to total social exclusion, but makes the social structure flexible and the individual - autonomous from the local environment (families, neighbours, colleagues on work, etc.); with the other - the emergence of bilateral «social accessibility» - the result of interaction of information technologies and social systems [14]. The key issues in this study have focused on the impact of the network on communication and interaction models in general: how the transition to individual means of communication - the Internet and mobile phones - affects internal and community solidarity, civic engagement, It increases or decreases social participation in people’s lives, etc. An interesting trend has been noted in this study - the emergence of the phenomenon of «networked individualism», which means that individuals can selectively approach the design of their environment. For example, using a mobile network allows us to easily avoid meeting strangers or friends we are not ready to meet. Mobile communication and social networks influence the change of social solidarity towards its limitation: that is, the limitation to strong ties by strengthening the bonds of the weak [26].

The inverse influence - the influence of virtual identity on real social identity is documented in the writings of Professor S. Turkle. Integration of «online-I» and «I-real» is perceived by it as the ideal way of personal development in the context of the information society. Thus, the mutual influence between virtual and real identity can form a qualitatively new state of personality [31].

Virtual identity tends to a real identity, it has an intension to demonstrate and improve according to the ideal of traits, and its search is accompanied by the need to affirm its authenticity. «The properties of the Internet space (in particular anonymity) postulated by representatives of the first approach were relevant for the Internet’s formative period (until the 2000s), which took place within the framework of the information technology ideology WEB 1.0. which treated Internet resources as information bases. Ideology WEB 1.0. It did not foresee the interactive nature of Internet communication and the wide possibilities of users to fill the Internet with a variety of content, which were updated with the appearance in the 2000s. blogs and social networks etc. (ideology WEB 2.0.) Research WEB 1.0. Based mainly on the material of teleconferencing, IRC, multiplayer role-playing games (MUDs) and other Internet communication channels that were distributed in the 1990s. Therefore, many of the properties observed in early Internet communication are no longer relevant in social networks. This is particularly true of the key Internet property of the 1990’s. Anonymity. Nowadays anonymity remains essential only in individual Internet communication means (chat rooms, imijboards)» [12].

This process is largely due, on the one hand, to the distortion of social markers in the virtual space (status or role) and, on the other hand, to the absence of clearly delineated sociocultural constraints or barriers in real life. The person in virtual space is a product of self-reflection. Its identity is almost completely transformed into self-representation, which is carefully constructed on the basis of both personal idealism about itself and social expectations within the network. As the already mentioned Turkle rightly remarked, the Internet in the post-modernist society is a laboratory for creating its own «I» [20]. Does self-image management become a means of creating your own «I»? which takes place on social networks, chat rooms, blogs, forums, virtual diaries and so on. The realization of one’s identity occurs through «games» [19] with identity, a substantial part of which consists of desired, perceived or unconscious, explicit or latent aspirations to control, according to the terminology of I. Hoffman, «impression about oneself».

The digital nature of modern communication provides the original possibility of modeling its own limited or unlimited virtual space, switching its «modes» [27] or regulating its accessibility to other users. This space is used by the individual not only to communicate, entertain, and satisfy any cultural and spiritual needs, but also, and above all, for his own self-representation, which is an integral part of the process of constructing identity. Many researchers agree that the virtual space produced by social networks, blogs, forums, etc., is a unique «holding mechanism in the field of the Other» [27]. Moreover, the technical possibilities of Internet-communication allow the individual to block access to his space (put in the «black list», for example), thereby restricting or controlling the behaviour of the unsuitable for any reason «Other».

The presentation of your «I» begins with the creation of a personal account [24] which is used to form various aspects of identification and their translation in space, from harmless editing of personal photos in Photoshop services to complex structure games with gender. An account or account is a special digital code that stores a certain amount of user data necessary for authentication within a certain web resource [6]. Account use involves a number of categories that characterize individuals within the network: first name (surname and patronymic) or alias (nickname), sex (or gender), age (date of birth), nationality (and language), world view (religion), contacts (from e-mail address to home phone), identifiers on other social media and websites (id-address), interests and hobbies (favorite books, movies, songs), and so on. Each block of a personal account is of particular interest to study because it is within that block that the identity of the user of a virtual space is constructed. Personal accounts thus become a kind of research matrix, and, most often, specialists engaged in in-depth analysis of virtual experiences and the strategy of presentation of the person study the identification of the person according to its structure. We will make a detailed analysis of the main categories of self-representation and the associated trajectories of personal identification in the next paragraph.

Virtual self-presentation as «perceived or unconscious, purposeful or spontaneous presentation of certain aspects of its «I» surroundings» [22] becomes a system-forming construct [8] of self-identification in virtual space. It contains a number of real and modified identities in name, gender, ethnicity, religion, socio-demographic background, occupation and citizenship, as previously stated, in the sequence of components of a personal account: nickname (user name), avatar, status, sections of personal information, interests, preferences, etc.

A key component of a virtual self-presentation is a user name or nickname [30] - a network name or alias used for communication in a virtual space. The understanding of the domain as a means of identification is linked to phenomena such as anonymity, which allows to express the self-perception of the individual at the subconscious level, and creativity.

The exclusive role of the name in the virtual environment for modern users is mentioned in the P. Leiberich study, which shows that for most of the interviewed names are an essential element of their identity (comments from interviews conducted by Leiberich: «My nickname is me. I will never change it», «If I change my name, I will part with my personality» [25]). In the same vein, a sociological analysis of A. Aga is presented, based on the identification of patterns in the attitude of the individual to his or her nickname, and 80% of the respondents surveyed within the framework of the survey expressed their preference for the treatment of name as the main means of self-identification, which expresses their world view, style and distinguishes from millions of other users.

Based on the development of M. Forrester [15], P. Welles [32], the domestic researcher V.C. Horikova proposes to classify the various types of nicknames as special identifiers of personality as follows:

1. real nicknames - that is, real and valid personal name information;

2. Quality nicknames - they describe aspects that in one way or another affect the real life of the individual (character, age, occupation, etc.) but do not contain a real name;

3. Nicknames - this type includes both names associated with characters from films or literature that do not exist in real life, and names of famous persons, eminent persons in a field, celebrities, etc.;

4. Niki-provocateurs - are essentially subtypes of nicknames-characters and often pursue the goal of «calling» to the society [13].

Various naming strategies contain another important aspect related to gender markers as an indicator when choosing a communication partner. In the late 1980s and early 1990s. Gender identity has been studied solely from the perspective of sexual binary differentiation, which has been used in various forms of electronic communication. As noted by Wojzkoński, the lack of information on gender identity often became a barrier to electronic communication, and in various dialogues users first clarified the sex of the communicator [29]. The concept of gender categorization is changing in virtual space with the emergence of so-called discursive practices of constructing identity based on the inner sense of self as a woman, Men or the third sex - that is, there is no direct relationship between gender and gender [4]. There are several typologies of gender identity in a virtual environment:

- Narrative - Gender-sensitive in the text it produces and broadcasts;

- Perceptive - paying attention to the set of repeated actions for signalling and comprehending one’s identity [11];

- Gender Subculture Theory is the approach used to analyze communicative style and presentation practices through different styling and design solutions for personal web pages.

In any case, a virtual gender identity, like a user’s name, may be: normative - that is, coincide with a real identity, non-normative - that is, come into conflict with a real identity, «zero» - that is, have noor gender-related grounds [34].

A special feature in virtual self-presentation is visualization, which can be seen in the existence of an avatar, a small-sized graphic image that allows visually identifying the Internet user (with avatar it is possible to construct perfect visual image «I»: women want to look more attractive, men - to demonstrate their masculinity and physical equipment, etc.) personal photo albums, etc. Visualization is becoming a global trend in virtual space, as evidenced, for example, by the high level of demand among Internet users of such a social network, as Instagram, whose specificity is the translation of photos. According to the official press release [2], it contains, on average, more than 95 million images and videos per day, with 4.2 billion publications in likes. The content of Instagram (Content) is the so-called LifeStyle, a definite demonstrative lifestyle project [32] that translates images from everyday life. Sociologist A.J. Sarna explains the role of photography in the construction of identity: Photography hardly confirms the reality behind it. The person becomes «avatar» - a mask of a virtual character and symbolic interaction. As a consequence of this, unique subjects that have no analogues in reality physical, but excellently cope with the function of building a new identity online» [7].

The analytical discourse of virtual self-representation pays special attention to the phenomenon of «selfie» - a fascination of modern Internet users connected with self-photography. One of the experts-experimenters in the field of studying social networks P. Birger in the work with the controversial name «Users become idiots» [22] proposes several foreign theories explaining «epidemic selfies» [6]:

• self-revision theory, which P. Birger consistently deduces from Study J. Kilner, who analyzed the attraction to the selfie in close connection with the lack of knowledge of the personality about what it looks like. J. Kilner gives the following example [23]: When people are asked to choose the photograph that they think is most similar to them, out of a series of photographs in which the actual part has been digitally altered to make the image more attractive. The subjects very rarely choose the original photograph. The systematic alteration of the image entails the need to design a visual identity that responds to one’s own perception.

• totemic theory is primarily related to the concept of J. Oulette [18] which interprets the phenomenon of selfie through the metaphor of totem, which in mythological pictures of the world is a special link between reality and virtual.

• The theory of humanization of technologies explains the aspiration of a person to «humanize» online space, to make it comfortable from the social point of view - that is, to fill it with people (human avatars) and to make it an integral part of real life. This theory is related to the name of the British experimenter Bruce Hood, who calls the phenomenon of selfie «new subjectivity» [21].

• The theory of visual communication, according to which successful identification design is linked to dialogue through image. For example, the well-known psychologist P. Rutledge [5] believes that text narratives in virtual space no longer have a defining role in the communication process. In the rush of producing unique content in virtual space, users end up with a fatal outcome, actually, real life. American Visual Identification Researcher J. Fox comments on users' fatal passion: «When a person publishes his or her photos on virtual networks, she gets confirmation from other users that she is «cool». Without paying attention to the consequences of his actions, the user often thinks about what impression he can make by hanging, for example, from the Eiffel Tower» [16].

The risk of death has become normal in social, psychological and medical practice in recent years. Thus, American psychologists, after studying the behaviour of social media users, have concluded that the constant shift or daily posting of their photographs more than three times a day with mandatory text accompaniment leads to episodic personality disorder, This is reflected in an acute chronic disease that cannot be controlled on its own. The interest of «selfie» is recognized as one of schizophrenic addictions.

The incessant reminding of oneself by broadcasting new and episodic and inherently fragmented realities of life leads to dependence not only on the attention of the audience, but also on the process of photography itself.

In summarizing the theories, it can be concluded that visual presentation is one way of confirming one’s identity at the level of desired characteristics in public opinion. Identity in virtual space becomes quite contradictory in its content: on the one hand, we have fixed the space of virtual social networks as a special personal space (private space). On the other hand, the practice of identity building itself, due to the public nature of self-representation oriented to the opinion of «Other», becomes part of the open flow of information, which leads to the blurring of the spheres of public and private [33].

In an individual there is an equalisation effect of present - real empathy [21], it passes into a set of virtual symbols and images. One of these characters is a conditional basic concept that expresses approval of the material produced by the user in a virtual environment. The orientation on «likes» is the essence of the desire to be demanded in the eyes of the Other, the need for self-admiration and a certain narcissism that compels the user to constantly generate new ideas about what the next presentation shell of him should look like, and how to react to the audience.

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Результаты процедуры рецензирования статьи

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Избранную автором рецензируемой статьи тему следует признать актуальной, в статье справедливо обращается внимание на «стирание» границ между реальным и виртуальным, в связи с чем возникает потребность в возвращении к анализу такого жанра, как автобиография. Интерес к автобиографии связывается автором с «девальвацией», «концом» «социального» как универсальной темы социально-исторических исследований, которое сменяется в качестве предмета рассмотрения «нарративами о множественных единичностях». Последнее соответствует «нестабильности и эфемерности среды», в которой «индивид вынужден постоянно воссоздавать своё «я», трансформировать свою личность». В условиях нарастания влияния виртуальности складывается тенденция «отделения» «виртуальной идентичности» от «реальной идентичности», хотя автор и соглашается с мнением, что подобный подход ведёт к противоречиям, поскольку при его реализации устраняется феноменолог, наблюдатель, между тем, его точка зрения (автора в момент письма) сама является ни чем иным, как результатом эволюции «предмета» (автора как объекта описания). Большое внимание в статье уделяется также изменению условий общественной жизни как фактору актуализации интереса к автобиографии в прошлом веке, дифференциации и смены форм этого жанра, его связям с конкретными изменениями, которое переживали отдельные общины в условиях значительных изменений в социальных отношениях. Автор отмечает, что несмотря на попытки «растворить» автобиографию в других литературных жанрах, она сохраняет самостоятельность, оказываясь «рамочным проектом», объединяющим достаточно далеко отстоящие друг от друга формы письма. Вместе с тем, в условиях «господства виртуального» в современной жизни «самоконструирование» в этом мире, пришедшее на смену традиционному автобиографическому анализу процесса становления личности, создаёт ощутимые опасности для человека, «погружённого» в виртуальную реальность, о чём автор убедительно пишет в конце статьи. Вместо ретроспективного самоанализа подобное «самоконструирование» ориентируется на удостоверение «другими» своего существования (зависимость от «лайков» и т.п.), в конце концов, личность растворяется в случайных связях, которые выстраиваются, как правило, хаотически и не позволяют субъекту процесса «самопрезентации» контролировать своё поведение, превращающееся в последовательность реакций на внешние запросы. Подводя итог, следует сказать, что автор рецензируемой статьи проявил несомненную эрудицию в рассматриваемом вопросе, изучил большое количество научной литературы, грамотно обрисовал изменения, которые происходят буквально на наших глазах и не стали ещё предметом обстоятельного анализа. Из недостатков статьи хотелось бы указать лишь на то обстоятельство, что автор проходит мимо само собой напрашивающегося сравнения форм саморепрезентации в современном мире с практикой «романа о воспитании», известного нам из классической европейской и русской литературы. Подобное сравнение было бы тем более уместным, что опасности, о которых говорит автор применительно к современной ситуации, оказываются следствием забвения уроков анализа внутреннего мира личности, а их неизбежным результатом становится и разрушение личности. Хотелось бы надеяться, что в будущем эта тема также привлечет внимание автора. Рецензируемая статья отвечает всем требованиям, предъявляемым к современным научным работам, рекомендую опубликовать её в научном журнале.
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