Re-inventing the self: Constructions of identity in Malaysian blogosphere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper discusses issues relating to constructions of identity by examining representations of the self through personal ruminations of selected Malaysian bloggers. The blog is a recent product of cyber culture which functions as a medium for the presentation of self; this virtual space offers freedom to the blogger to express issues that reflect his or her concerns. Many bloggers assume online identities to achieve visibility in cyberspace and yet remain invisible. Aspects of identity are traditionally characterized in terms of gender and interpersonal characteristics, which may include self definition or personal traits, roles and relationships, personal values or moral beliefs (Calvert, 2002). However, the emancipation and anonymity of cyberspace offers Malaysian bloggers an opportunity to re-invent themselves. In this culturally diverse and virtual community, these bloggers, not only incarnate themselves through avatars, but they also deconstruct accepted norms of gender and appropriate identities in Malaysian history to create alternative identities of themselves. The dynamic nature and constant re-drawing of rules in cyber culture has sanctioned the blurring of gender lines as well as manipulation of the personal and shared past. By drawing upon Butler's (1990b) concept of gender performativity, I will disclose instances of fluidity of gender among selected young bloggers. The deconstructive nature of New Historicism permits me to illustrate the appropriation of history as the means for a metamorphosis of the self. Thus, identifying ambivalence in the way one perceives oneself and the choices made to present one's self to others, as well as attributing that ambivalence to social factors (such as social attitudes toward questions of gender ambiguity and appropriation of history) may bring to light issues pertaining to identity reconstruction and the implications of such trends on contemporary constructs of the self in Malaysia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-141
Number of pages17
Journal3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

gender
ambivalence
virtual reality
history
social attitude
virtual community
anonymity
emancipation
weblog
social factors
Malaysia
manipulation
reconstruction
trend
History
Values
Appropriation
Cyberspace
Ambivalence

Keywords

  • Appropriation
  • Gender performativity
  • History
  • Identity
  • Malaysian blogosphere

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Re-inventing the self : Constructions of identity in Malaysian blogosphere. / Md. Yusof, Noraini.

In: 3L: Language, Linguistics, Literature, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2009, p. 125-141.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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