文章摘要
朱靖江,高冬娟.虚拟社区中自我认同的反身性重构——基于移动短视频应用“快手”的人类学研究[J].民族学刊,2019,10(4):47-53, 112-114
虚拟社区中自我认同的反身性重构——基于移动短视频应用“快手”的人类学研究
Reflexive Reconstruction of Self-identity in Virtual Communities — Anthropological Research Based on the Video Social Network “Kwai”
  
DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1674-9391.2019.04.05
中文关键词: 快手  虚拟社区  自我认同  反身性重构
英文关键词: Kwai  virtual communities  self-identity  reflexive reconstruction
基金项目:
作者单位
朱靖江 中央民族大学民族学与社会学学院 
高冬娟 中央民族大学民族学与社会学学院 
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中文摘要:
      互联网技术对时间进程的压缩和空间结构的整合创造出一个多时态共存的虚拟空间,社群成员之间的交互关系由以“我”为中心的社会关系网扩展为不同虚拟社区“我们”与“我们”的交流互动,这一交互过程中始终贯穿着人类学自我身份认同的再思考与再建构。本文以中国最大的短视频社交平台“快手”为研究对象,通过互联网田野调查方法复观虚拟社区中的文化表达与自我认同过程,揭示出以“快手”为代表的视频交互型虚拟社区在给予个体多元文化表达空间的同时,个体也经由反身性方式不断重构自我身份认同。
英文摘要:
      Internet technology creates a multi-temporal co-existing virtual space by compressing time and integrating spatial structure. The interactive relationships among community members is expanding from the social network centering on “I” to the communication and interaction between “we” and “we” in different virtual communities. This interactive process is consistent with the anthropological process of rethinking and reconstructing self-identity. This paper takes “Kwai”, the largest short video social platform in China, as the object of research, in order to observe the process of cultural expression and self-identity in virtual communities through Internet fieldwork. It reveals that the interactive video virtual community represented by “Kuai” provides individuals with space for multi-cultural expression, while they constantly reconstruct their self-identity through reflexive ways. “Kwai”, was born out of a GIF animation tool. In November 2014, it officially transformed from a pure application tool to a short video social platform application, with daily active users of more than 100 million people, producing millions of user-created short videos every day. In 2017, the total number of users exceeded 700 million. On the one hand, such a large number of users show the importance of recording and sharing with current members of society. On the other hand, the cultural landscapes and widely spread social hot spots recorded by “Kwai” reveals that individuals and groups in virtual communities are constructing new community organizations through culture, and at the same time, the problem of universal self-identity has become more and more prominent in this new network of relationships. The relationship between the pluralistic and social world at large and the powerless experience of the individual is the main topic for “self-issue” study in modern society. For one thing, a lot of research focuses on the “process of the compression” in time and the “virtual integration” in space of the real world by internet technology. For another thing, much research focus on the transformation mechanism of the psychology of the individual within network society, such as the threat of constructivism to the ontology of security and existence, the dialectical relationship between the emergence of individualism and the “extinction” of public space, and the critical observation of narcissism and self. Of course, under the joint action of the above two aspects, research on self-identity and construction of community are also produced. In a survey of web celebrities and regular users of “Kwai”, we find that in the virtual community built by short video social interaction, the self-identity of community members is not only found and shaped in the shooting of the video and in the live interaction with strangers, but also it is also reconstructed through reflexivity within the urban and rural identities and cultural classifications represented by “Kwai” and “Tik Tok”. Although Manuel Castells’s defensive identification with the repetition of historical memory is illustrative of the behavior of “Kwai” users, a new kind of self-identity, in which the self is gradually identified through interaction and the “I am this way” is emerging. How this kind of identity is reconstructed reflexively in short video social culture is the exact issue on which this paper wants to focus and discuss. In addition to sorting and analyzing the relevant data of “Kwai”, we also conduct participant observation on the “Kwai” APP itself. According to the research, for real life users, “Kwai” is not exactly a copy of a real social network, but an independent social activity field, which has social attributes and naturally forms an internal cultural landscape. Furthermore, this kind of landscape has spawned a truly diverse cultural style that belongs only to the community. As a virtual community, more than 700 million members record their lives, communicate and share information. Through the power of authentic recording, the daily consciousness of community viewers is “organized with a sense of distant events”. It enables the urban and the rural cultures to coexist simultaneously, and makes the cultural expression of community members more diverse, while, at the same time, it blurs the binary opposition between urban and rural areas. The diversified choices provided by the “culture of virtual reality” are based on reality, and are integrated in a virtual way. These choices connect the self and the world, and place the real culture in daily life within the virtual community so that the self can then watch. It enables the self to be reflective to different degrees, and finally forms a reflexive modernity. Obviously, the reflexiveness of members of the “Kwai” community include not only the shooting of the video which regards the body as the production of meaning and self-mobilization, but also the mutual influence in the live interaction with fans, as well as the interaction with urban and rural cultural classifications within the context of globalization. The no-barriers and de-centralization of the “Kwai” community provides a platform and guidance for individuals who want to take pride in being producers and weave meaning into their lives. The ego takes the body as the entity of social mobilization to form a meaningful community, and organizes the interactive strategy between the ego and the world through basic trust. “In the process of participation, we can find and protect the common interests of each other, and share each other’s life to a greater or lesser degree, and then, through this obtain a new meaning.” In addition, the diversity of interactive scenes in the internet enables modernity to show fragmented characteristics, and, thus, the ego encounters a dilemma between the routine of daily life and the diversity of the virtual world. In this context, the identity of the ego is created and continuously reconstructed. The ambiguity of cultural identity caused by the elimination of the urban-rural boundary in Chinese society is not only found among the internal members of the “Kwai” group, but it is also a problem of individual cultural identity that exists in many short video social platforms. In 2016, a large number of short video applications were launched in China. In the face ofthe problems of cultural identity caused by competition, “Kwai” groups showed a proactive defensiveness, but in the face of cultural facts, this defensiveness is not very effective. This is because the “local flavor” in the virtual community really comes from real local life, and sooner or later people must come out from their haven and face up to the status quo caused by cultural power. When the flag of defensive identity is lowered, the question “how am I going to live?” becomes embedded deeper into daily life, into the inner reality, and thus, a new true self-identity is reconstructed through reflexivity. Instead of repeating the historical memory in order to revive the tradition, individuals acquire their own identity with a fearless attitude of seeing reality and living in the present and acknowledging “I am this way”. To sum up, within the context of modernity, the media conveys the experience of others and the events of others through the “collage effect”. The short video virtual community represented by “Kwai” breaks through this traditional social form, making this experience “happen” in front of the viewer and forming a relatively independent social field. Those transferable social situations construct new commonalities and differences in the way the self interacts with the other. This “culture of real virtuality”, which is based on reality and integrated in a virtual way, gives birth to self-reflexiveness. In the changing social situation, reflexiveness takes “mobilization as meaning” as the core, to make the self produce meaning within its creative relationships with others to combat the sense of personal meaninglessness, and achieve a coherence of self-identity through inner authenticity from within the selection of multiple scenarios. Finally, through the comprehensive reflection of “defensive identity”, a new real self-identity is reconstructed. This kind of identification is the latest choice of the self in the virtual community represented by “Kwai” to face the dilemma of multiple choices in the virtual world. It is clear that this true self-identity is constructed in a reflexive way and will inevitably continue to change with thereflexiveness of the self. As Anthony Giddens says “the more people develop their self-identity in reflexive ways, the more they realize the phenomenon that present practice shapes future results.” Only by integrating the face-to-face “reality” of short video social contact with the actual local life of the individual, can the past experience and future projection of the self be connected, so as to achieve the integrity of the self-narrative. The real self-identity gradually presented in the virtual community is the result of the development of information technology, but it may also be the self-transcendence that occurs after individuals feel “swallowed up” by the phenomenal world but are unable to struggle.
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