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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: October 2013

5 - Narratives of Identity and Media Genres

from II - Media


The way in which identity is understood in contemporary society is the result of the application of a double perspective composed of figures which do not simply add up but instead present us with a set of tensions: a reflection on the crisis in the forms of media discourse as the principal locus of present-day identity, and the urgent need to construct experiential discourses that can suture the deficit of legitimation in the anonymous discourses which address us […]. Narratives of identity come up against the fact that they are constructions in which there is not merely some mechanical actuation of codes but also a production of meaning. This is why there can be no question of extolling situations of marginality or exoticism as reservoirs of such narratives, but rather of analysing the extent to which the very brokenness of classic models of identity itself generates new narratives, in which modes of integration and rebellion are negotiated.

(Marinas 1995: 75–78)

The return of identity and the exhaustion of storytelling

Breaking with the sterile cycle that leads from the affirmation of identity as an immutable essence to its negation in the supposed inevitability of homogenization, contemporary thought proposes identity as a construction which emerges through narration. This new way of thinking about identity aims to account both for the changes which traverse mono-identities and the emergence of multiculturalities which exceed ethnic, racial and national categories.