Narcissus and the Evil Twin

Culture of the Selfie: Self-Representation in Contemporary Visual Culture. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures by Ana Peraica

Book Section:  Narcissus and the Evil Twin

I chose this particular book section because it focuses on the psychology of Narcissus with supporting research and theoretical arguments which examine the selfie generation and how it is commonly associated with the narcissistic culture. Factual observations tie in public understanding of Narcissus with selfie culture and test their theoretical approach on years of observations and psychoanalytical studies, and research and psychoanalysis.

This book section draws on psychotherapy of social online behavior and visual culture to form an in-depth narrative account of the visual discourse that focuses on the space between the spectator, Echo, and the subject-object, Narcissus to examine self-disclosure and the relationship between the self and spectator-audience on social media.

Cultural behaviors where the object-self has become problematic to accepted norms when observing the relationship between the audience and signifier regarding the constant need for recognition from the spectator in contemporary culture where the mode of visual expression is expressed through selfies.

Feeding into my own research this book section investigates contemporary visual culture of self-representation and the underlying motivation for online behavior through possible unconscious processes which tie into the myth of Narcissus never knowing the other. The cognition between introspection and extrospection are examined through the myth of Narcissus and the relationship with the reflection as to whether he knew the reflection, or did not recognize the self. This theory would argue in favor of the expulsion of the self during the homo-erotic affair against the émigré into someone else or the “other” self as a possibility. Contemporary cultural behaviors and when weighed against this examination could consider the relationship between the selfie and the mirror and the methods of self-disclosure into someone else through technological contemporary materials and social media for solipsistic pleasure.

So, what is there to say about the psychoanalytical behavior of the selfie generation that has become a cultural phenomenon among the global community? And it’s not limited to the Millennials or Generation Z as one might think but has broadened its reach across all generations and social, cultural, and economic boundaries. What I like about this book section is that it weighs the historical theories against contemporary and visual culture and considers the underlying motivations behind these behaviors using a robust variety of these investigations for consideration and argument and complicated interpretations.

Peraica, A. (2017) Culture of the Selfie: Self-Representation in Contemporary Visual Culture. Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures

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