The Lack of Collective Memory and Identity Construction in Cyberspace

Dilek Ozhan Kocak 1 *

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According to Maurice Halbswachs memory depend upons social conditions. Social framework is the sine qua non of the existence of memory. A lonely person can neither has an individual nor a social memory. However social amnesia and forgetting is a problem in contemporary world wherein social life and the society is fragmented; in addition, the identity is the result of this fragmented world. The frantically identity-seeking is a side effect of the repression and tension rooted in globalization and individualization. Identity in today’s world is unstable, multible, fluctuating and fragmentary. If the identity is a seeking of escaping from uncertainity, one of the reasons of this uncertainity is the lack of collective memory. The problem in producing and transfering the common past in today’s world, in other words the loss of collective memory is lead to the individualization of the society; identity means for a man -who is imprisoned in a permanent “now”- a kind of a safety home in an unsafe world. As Barbara A. Mitsztal asserts “memory and identity depend upon each other since not only is identity rooted in memory but also what is remembered is defined by the assumed identity.” John Locke sees memory as the criterion of personal identity and equates it with a collection of experiences. He says that “I am what I remember.”
The essence strategy of postmodern life is not the construction of identity, avoiding to make it immobilized. Digital world and cyberspace fulfil this need through the cheapest and easiest way. Digital world offers us a lot of opportunities in having different identities. On the internet an individual identity becomes so fluid. Cyberspace allows people to construct their self-presentation and to play with online identity. The user become the author of their life.


Identity collective memory individualization cyberspace second life


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp. 203-226

Published Online: 24 Apr 2013

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