Quick notes in a lecture around identity made on the iPad 2 which I was testing out and not really fully knowing how to use yet!

Essentialism traditional approach. An inner essence and biological make up which decides who we are and what we are.

Post moderism

Physiognomy. Phrenology. Cesare lombroso positivist criminology the notion that criminal tendencies are built into the mind inherited ideals and beliefs. Measure and study someone’s facial features to inform and judge someone’s intelligence and nature.

Physiognomy legitimising racism. People later exaggerate and use features an stereotype to show and suggest notions that try to fight back racism and show identity.

Pre modern identity defined by long standing roles. Dominance or owner ship of people judged by how people had previously treated others such as women under men. Much more secure identities and established sociel roots.

Modern identity – societies begin to off wider social roles and let’s people choose who they are and what they do. 19th and 20th century,

charles Baudelaire – the painter of modern life.

Thorstein Veblen -theory of the leisure class.

Georg simmel – metropolis modern

Making it obvious that you don’t need to go to work and showing where you are within society. With the different classes they also show, by what they wear, what they aspire too and they have. Emulate and copy people to look to achieve a version of the ‘upper class’. The cycle of where emulation and distinction ofmasks of fashion whomtry to constantly achieve to look like a higher class.

Simmel looks at who we are and why we try to be what we aspire to be with the clothes and objects we have and wear.

Postmodern identity. Discourses age, class, gender, nationality, race/nationality, gender and sexuality. ‘otherness’. Looking at these notions a lot of the ideals and theories built up in the past is set by white men who were heterosexual. Humphrey spender with mass observation using photography worked on a project named the worktown project in Bolton, took images of people in different classes within their environments. It’s a style of documentary photography but with a preconceived idea of who and what these people are. Martin parr documents new Brigimage looking at imagery and looks at ‘society’ where people are under line fake or how they play out an identity or role in which they don’t belong it.

Las Vegas shows up the national identity within one place that shows more modern identity. An american student speaks about why go anywhere and travel when it can be found all in one place! More well designed and shown.


Chris ofili uses his more comical art to show what society might think or see. Uses tongue and cheek to play with what his identity is and what it might be.

Race and national identity is not just shown by the colour of a person’s skin but also within hair colour and placing within society such as Emily bates who uses facial to tackle the idea do her hair colour and use of colour paticularly ‘ginger’.

Edmund Bergler is an American psychoanalyst in the 1950s looks at how women and men change and move within roles within society and what they look like, who designs what for who.

Masquerade and the mask of femininty, cindy Sherman – untitled film stills, sam Taylor-wood – portrait (fuck, suck, spank, wank). Tracey emin, everyone I have ever slept with, toy with perception on how women are viewed and how are they portrayed within society.


Postmodern condition – liquid identity. Identity is constructed by ourselves and built and invented.

Theodore levitt, the morality of advertising. Looks at the stark reality of how life is ‘shit’ and how we use art, architecture, literature to shield and hide ourselves from this.


Looking at online relationships and created identities in which people form. Baunan (2004) page 76 identity. 


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