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Title: Confusion, control and comfort: premediating identity management in film and television
Authors: Turner, Georgina
van Zoonen, Liesbet
Harvey, Jasmine M.
Keywords: Identity management
Future technologies
Science fiction
Users' trust
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Taylor and Francis / © 2013 The Author(s).
Citation: TURNER, G., VAN ZOONEN, L. and HARVEY, J., 2013. Confusion, control and comfort: premediating identity management in film and television. Information, Communication & Society, 17 (8), pp. 986-1000.
Abstract: A number of national and international agencies have pointed to identity management (IM) as one of the main private and public challenges of the future. The issue is subject to intense public controversy and contestation, especially with respect to access to, usage and ownership of personal data. Most work about IM assumes users to be rational actors making instrumental choices on the basis of perceived usefulness and efficiency; cultural narratives hardly ever come up in current research about acceptance of new identity management technologies (IMTs). Screen representations do not prescribe certain meanings around IM, but create and delineate horizons of imagination; repositories of meanings from which people can draw to make sense of innovations and their consequences. In this paper, we focus on a sample of films, television and web series to examine how IMTs are premediated. Our analysis suggests that a whole range of future IM (knowledge- and token-based, as well as biometric/implant) technologies is imagined here, with biometric and implant technologies most likely to be taken to (dystopian) extremes. Stories of identity theft and confusion, surveillance and control, comfort and corruption construct them as potentially problematic and always under threat, as well as calling up existential concerns about what it means to be human. We conclude that these dark horizons are anchored in myth and persistent fears about who we are, and thus that new means of IM face a difficult task in gaining users' trust.
Description: © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted. Research data for this paper is available on request from the authors.
Sponsor: This work was supported by the ESRC [grant number EP/J005037/1].
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1080/1369118X.2013.870592
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/14509
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2013.870592
ISSN: 1369-118X
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies)

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