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Mapping Identity and Identification Processes

Approaches from Cultural Studies

Edited By Eduardo de Gregorio-Godeo and Angel Mateos-Aparicio Martin-Albo

This book deals with the subject of identity and identification within contemporary cultural studies and includes a selection of papers from the 14th International ‘Culture & Power’ Conference held in Ciudad Real, Spain, in 2010. The volume contributes to contemporary debates on identity-construction practices from various theoretical positions in different social, historic and national contexts. The initial section presents various theoretical discussions on how identity construction and identification phenomena are framed within current disciplinary debates about cultural studies and its future as an academic inter- and transdisciplinary field of enquiry. In the following sections, identity and identification processes are analysed from a variety of perspectives.
In particular, the articles delve into the construction of marginalised identities and the exploration of identification processes that subvert dominant, established or accepted cultural identities. The authors explore the role of print media and videogames in constructing and representing identities; they examine the construction of masculinities and femininities in film, music and gay liberation movements; they analyse the interplay between globalisation and nationalism and its impact on cultural products in Asia or Africa; and provide examples of cultural history approaches to the articulation of several national identities. Considered together, the chapters engage with the most relevant concerns pervading identity theory and cultural studies today.


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Part II. Bridging the Gap between Identification Processes and Identity Construction in the Media 113


Part II. Bridging the Gap between Identification Processes and Identity Construction in the Media CANDIDA YATES Media and the Inner World: Mapping the Psycho-Cultural The Development of New Psycho-cultural Perspectives The aim of this chapter is to discuss the development of a psycho- cultural approach that applies psychoanalytic, social and cultural theories to explore the emotions and fantasies that shape the ex- perience of mediatisation in everyday life.1 The development of such an approach is timely given the widespread focus on therapeutic notions of “the self” within contemporary popular culture and the media. In the West, popular culture is now frequently characterised as “therapy culture,” where a preoccupation with therapy and emotional states of being have become dominant in everyday life (Furedi 2004; Richards 2007; Yates 2010; 2011). One can cite numerous examples of this process of emotionalisation within the media and popular culture, ranging from the hyper-emotionality seen in reality television and celebrity culture (Biressi and Nunn 2008), or the focus on emotive experiences of trauma in print and broadcast news (Ortega Breton 2011; Richards 2007), to the scrutiny of the “self” that dominates both radio and television chat shows and which is also seen in print media (Nunn and Biressi 2010). The growth of confessional literature; self- help books and related digital products all provide examples of the links between identity and the therapeutic ethos in these mediatised contexts.2 In television drama, one can see the representation of 1 Some ideas in this chapter have been published in...

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