Volume 14, Issue 2, 2017
Cross-Cultural Semiotic Dialogue Between East and West
Inna Valerievna Miroshnichenko, Elena Vasilievna Morozova
Networking Mechanisms of Identity Formation
The authors prove and describe the action of new networking mechanisms of formation of identities which arise in the context of societal transformations of the modern society. The networking mechanisms of identity formation represent a complex of interrelated and interdependent practices in global information and communication space, promoting individual and collective identification, interiorization and reflection. The complex includes the mechanism of network communication, mechanism of reflexive involvement of a person into the public space, mechanism of network topos-structuring and mechanism of public crowdsourcing. The results of the empirical research show that the functionality of the mechanism of network communication for reproducing/positioning traditional identities and projecting new identities resides in its digital nature (readiness and openness for changes) and a network ethos (orientation to the integration into the community of different value orientations and statuses of actors and provision of cooperation between them on the basis of the development of the uniform complex of values and standards). The mechanism of reflexive involvement of individuals into the public space enables individual and collective actors to project the independent social worlds requiring the creation of their own virtualized public spaces that are closely linked with the common social space. The mechanism of network toposstructuring and mechanism of public crowdsourcing, forming situation and problem identities, have the high mobilization potential to update the activity of network communities in the form of individuals’ initiatives and large-scale civil movements where new sustained identities form which can also gain the protest nature. The authors come to conclusion that the complex of network mechanisms produces the dynamic matrix of the identity of a modern person allowing to take the opportunities for its development in the contemporary conditions of new social reality formation. At the same time, the complex of networking mechanisms is not stable; its content depends on those institutional practices which determine further conditions, processes and results of formation of identities, requiring their conceptual understanding and empirical research in social sciences.