Unit Four Prompt: Identity, Communication and Strategy

The Stuart Hall Project documents the contributions that Stuart Hall made to the study of culture, media and identity over the course of his career. The title of the film describes both the subject of the film (i.e. it’s about Stuart Hall) and the ways in which Stuart Hall’s own identity was a project developed over the course of decades in conversation with others and the historical context in which he lived. The other essays from this unit bring to light a slightly different take on identity, highlighting the ways in which identity can be unworked and undone and the kinds of community that can be produced from this. Both bring to light the tension within the concept of identity, which is both something that is imposed by external forces (other people, material circumstances, the ‘police’, etc.) and actively constructed (both individually and collectively by means of communication and culture.)

Drawing on the concepts in this reading, this prompt asks you to analyze an example in which the tensions in the concept of identity have been exploited as part of a strategy for political, cultural or social change. Specifically address how communication has been incorporated into the expression of these tensions. This could be struggles for recognition, or draw upon attempts to work against identity (such in the example of Anonymous).

NB: I strongly recommend listening to the lecture that will be posted next week before attempting to write this assignment. Also, if you have questions, please let me know. Just so you know, I am going to post a collection of my answers to these questions in case they are of use to the entire class.