Identity and Social Peace in the Digital World

Identity and Social Peace in the Digital World

Murat Seyfi (Gaziosmanpaşa University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3032-9.ch008
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Abstract

The concept of identity is changing and developing with digitalization. Macro and national identities, which are the basis of conflicts in the world, have started to decrease and lose their importance against micro-identities introduced by digitalization. This forms the basis of re-shaping the concept of power in the world. Digital identities play a key role in sustaining conflicts and peace in this new balance of power. With digitalization, individuals get numerous identities and have the opportunity to form a joint identity with other individuals and groups at a micro level. These new identities formed in micro level against macro identities are becoming an organic structure that has horizontal and vertical components in order to establish peace in the world by creating time, place and memories. This enables the concept of peace to have multiple intelligence in digital platforms. The aim of this study is to search the power and effect of micro-identities which are formed in virtual platforms and in the process of building social peace in the digital world.
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Identities And Micro Identities

The concept of identity is addressed by many different disciplines and evaluated from its own scientific perspective. The basis for this concept’s being so interesting is that the concept is directly related to all the processes in the flow of life. The concept of identity, which forms the basis of social peace, is, of course, related to definitions of this concept by different disciplines. However, the basic study of field is social identity studies.

The history of the concept of identity, which is one of the most discussed terms all over the world in relation to post-modernist discourses in recent years, dates back to old times. The concept of identity, which started to be brought to the agenda in the 1940’s, started to be addressed within the scope of sociology, social anthropology and politics when people realized in the 1980’s that society was as effective as individuals in the formation of identity (Gandler, 2006, p. 321).

Neither the absolute autonomy of self or identity can be acceptable for sociology. The identity generally is not “stable” and “independent from external influences” but unstable/discontinuous/partial and “vulnerable to external influences” (influence of “others”). The “others” are always at the center in the uses of the identity, which has different meanings in sociology. To give an example, it is stated in Encyclopedic Dictionary of Sociology (Sharma, 1992, p. 407) that the concept has two different uses: Firstly, identity refers to how and where someone is seen and how he is categorized through attitudes from others towards him. Secondly, identity is about how someone sees and accepts himself as a person who has his own life story, who has a seat in the society and who has a special value.

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