Reflections from outside the comfort zone: Digital self-representation, vulnerability and pedagogy

Vivienne, S 2016, 'Reflections from outside the comfort zone: Digital self-representation, vulnerability and pedagogy', Arts and Humanities as Higher Education, no. SpecialIssueDecember2016, pp. 1-1.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Reflections from outside the comfort zone: Digital self-representation, vulnerability and pedagogy
Author(s) Vivienne, S
Year 2016
Journal name Arts and Humanities as Higher Education
Issue number SpecialIssueDecember2016
Start page 1
End page 1
Total pages 1
Publisher Sage
Abstract This essay describes three intertwined modes of being - teaching, advocating and nurturing - in which I demonstrate vulnerability as a strategy for thinking through the complexities of digital self-representation. In the first mode I am a digital media researcher and lecturer, in the second I am a community arts worker and media-maker; and in the third I am a parent engaging with a teenager around access to and uses of digital platforms. As digitally mediated contemporary life entangles previously separate spheres like work/leisure, family/friends and politics/passion, personal values regarding privacy and publicness also shift. For marginalised people with stigmatised identities, social acceptance is conditional and bigotry hides around every corner. Beyond stigma, even powerful white men can experience vulnerability through personality (for example, mental illness) or association (for example, an illicit love affair, or a vulnerable loved one). I argue that, for most people, the demands of everyday digital praxis reinforce a need for self-study and storytelling to empower and learn across a range of contexts. What is appropriate to share with whom? What benefits outweigh the risks of over-sharing? Many of us gain the basic skills of digital engagement by unintentionally breaching boundaries that reveal vulnerability. For my part, I experience vulnerability by virtue of personality (anxiety), association (parenting kids who need to defend their 'abnormal' family structure) and identity (I am queer in orientation to gender and sexuality). The agonistic relationship between vulnerability and authoritative is core in each of these domains and something I wrangle on an ongoing basis. I am not, however, unique. Vulnerability is not wholly different now that it is mediated and amplified by digital means. After all, 'learning from one's mistakes' was an aphorism a long time before digital cultures invented #fail. Nevertheless, I argue that feeling self-conscious, off-bala
Subject Communication and Media Studies not elsewhere classified
Culture, Gender, Sexuality
Keyword(s) Vulnerability
social convergence
digital self-representation
personal experience
Copyright notice © 2018 Arts and Humanities as Higher Education.
ISSN 1474-0222
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