Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lost in the Mass

Last section involved a very involved discussion on the roll of masses within society and functioning through masses. One of the sentences we analyzed really made me think of this 'relief of the mass.'

"This situation has not just produced a state of 'reflexivity', where we continually police ourselves trying to produce the right identity, but also a state of being a mass, the relief of being a mass." (138)

Becoming part of the mass relieves the individual, because there is no need for the discover of self-identity. There is stress off the individual, as they becomes a part of something bigger than themselves. However, how beneficial is this really, for the individual. This growing dependency on the mass could ultimately be detrimental for the individual; there is no pressing need for self-development.

Looking to facebook profiles, we have made ourselves a part of this huge community and the sea of profiles is absolutely overwhelming. While so many of us strive for individuality and uniqueness, the same time with fitting into a category is a lot easier. With all these different social communities, social groups are developed constantly, in order to relieve ourselves of the overwhelming numbers of people on these social networks, such as facebook. It is a lot easier to identify someone as a 'hipster' or 'jock'. At first, we may strive to leave this social categorization, but then we become too comfortable to change it, or attempt to deviate from this image. Instead, this comfortableness, becomes an acceptance and this social category is something we absorb as a part of our personal social identity. It's a lot easier to accept a name pre-made for you, versus developing one's own identity to merge into a mass later. Is a mass simply a mash-up of different social categories that we lazily accepted?

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