Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Neutralizing Identity: Exploring Language and Gender in a Virtual World | Digital Writing and Research Lab

Abstract: Students in classrooms always carry with them markers of identity that embody social distinctions—dialect, skin color, clothes, gendered features—that compel them to make judgments about the identities of others (as well as their own). The use of Second Life (SL) as a virtual classroom is envisioned as a space where students can examine topics of gender and language identity. SL fosters an environment where real-life markers of identity are mitigated and potentially neutralized, allowing students to focus on issues of language and gender without being influenced by variables such as dialect, clothes, skin color, and other physical features. Although SL is generally an unpredictable environment, unanticipated scenarios create the opportunity for students to share and compare widely divergent experiences, which contribute to a pool of information useful for research projects.
Neutralizing Identity: Exploring Language and Gender in a Virtual World | Digital Writing and Research Lab

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