A. Aneesh is Director of the Institute of World Affairs and Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Before joining UWM, he taught in the Science and Technology Program at Stanford University (2001-04). Aneesh has authored two books: Virtual Migration: the programming of Globalization (Duke University Press 2006) and Neutral Accent: How Language, Labor and Life Become Global (Duke University Press, spring 2015) and has co-edited two volumes titled Beyond Globalization: Making New Worlds in Media, Art, and Social Practices (Rutgers University Press 2011) and The Long 1968: Revisions and New Perspectives (Indiana University Press 2013). His scholarship intersects a plurality of research realms: globalization, software development, and migration.
The Uses of Personality: Social, Bureaucratic and System Identities
While social identity is an identity continually renegotiated through linguistic interactions and social performances, bureaucratic identity—glimpsed in passports, driver’s licenses, and other identity cards—is a construction of fixed personhood for the purposes of modern organizational needs, ensuring that the member has remained essentially the same despite changes in personality, body, and behavior. With the spread of information technologies, however, there has emerged a new variation of identity—system identity, which represents persons as dynamically forming clouds of data. While system identities can serve the bureaucratic need for identifying members, their role far surpasses the functional necessities of inclusion and exclusion. This presentation highlights the importance of this differentiation, and charts its latest development.