Anonymity - Self-creation
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Anonymity and self creation: Laurie Taylor talks to Thomas DeGloma, Associate Professor of Sociology at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, about hidden identities and how and why we use anonymity, for good or ill. He explores a wide range of historical and contemporary cases, from the Ku Klux Klan to 'Dr H' the psychiatrist who disguised his identity in a meeting which changed his profession's regressive attitudes towards homosexuality. In recent years, anonymity has featured widely in the political and social landscape: from the pseudonymous artist, Banksy, to Hackers Anonymous and QAnon. What is anonymity, and why, under various circumstances, do individuals act anonymously? How do individuals use it, and, in some situations, how is it imposed on them? Also, Tara Isabella Burton, Visiting Fellow at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, on the crafting of public personae, from Beau Brummell to the Kardashians. She finds the trend for personal branding, amongst ordinary people as well as celebrities, originated with the idea that we could shape our own destiny, once the power of the church had waned. What are the connections between the Renaissance genius and the Regency dandy, the Hollywood 'IT' girl and Reality TV star? Might there be social costs to seeing self-determination as the fundamental element of human life? Producer: Jayne Egerton
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