Rheingold: ‘Shibuya Epiphany’

“Shibuya Epiphany” is the opening chapter from Howard Rheingold’s 2002 book, “Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution.”

In this chapter, Rheingold cites Erving Goffman’s theories about how people improvise public performances as a way of composing an identity in the presenter’s own mind and in the minds of other. This is the “presentation of self.” Text messages, for example, allow one to arrange “face.”

Social media involve gobs of improvised public performances that serve to arrange the “face” of a user. People form and present an image of themselves, most often the version that they most want other people to see.

This blog includes a series of posts that stem from readings and other source materials in the Fall 2011 “Collaboration in Networked Environments” at The New School. For more Collaboration: Key Concepts posts, click here.

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