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Zygmunt Bauman

In: Questions of Cultural Identity

Chapter 2: From Pilgrim to Tourist – or a Short History of Identity

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From Pilgrim to Tourist – or a Short History of Identity
From pilgrim to tourist – or a short history of identity
ZygmuntBauman

‘Identity continues to be the problem it was throughout modernity’, says Douglas Kellner, and adds that ‘far from identity disappearing in contemporary society, it is rather reconstructed and redefined’ – though just a few paragraphs later he casts doubts on the feasibility of the selfsame ‘reconstruction and redefinition’, pointing out that ‘identity today becomes a freely chosen game, a theatrical presentation of the self’ and that ‘when one radically shifts identity at will, one might lose control.’1 Kellner's ambivalence reflects the present ambivalence of the issue itself. One hears today of identity and its problems more often than ever before in modern times. And ...

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