Repository logo
 

Avatar, personified: Split personhood on an ethical online support group

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Qassim, Summer 

Abstract

Analyses of digital life have theorized the heuristic value of theoretical and emic boundaries and/or the interconnectedness of online and offline selves, often with a focus on the curation of an online self whose distinctiveness must be methodologically interrogated offline. Through ethnographic analysis of a large group of globally dispersed women who meet online to learn ethical pedagogy in service of a curated, offline self, I argue this split self denotes a self/other distinction on a continuum, with the ethical work conducted in service of an eventual collapse of this dual corporeality. I explain this through a framework of perspectivism, ethics, and the partible person. In doing so, I underscore a theoretical position that posits the “digital” does not always usher in a “new” way of being, by bridging prior anthropological scholarship on indigenous personhood with a personhood that I argue is similarly enacted within a digital world.

Description

Keywords

Journal Title

HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2049-1115

Volume Title

Publisher

HAU-N.E.T

Publisher DOI

Publisher URL