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A DramaticIdentity is a name, symbol, marker or some other semiotic device used to represent not one individual but some sort of abstract group of individuals. The DramaticIdentity talks on "behalf" of the people it claims to represent, although typically the identity is only speaking from one person's point of view.

For example, if I signed things as FriendsOfTheEarth to slam people I perceived as environmental criminals, I'd be using a DramaticIdentity. However, if I signed things as MeatBall to make project-wide announcements I'm probably not using a dramatic identity. There really is someone behind the mask.

The idea is to appeal to a sense of greater importance than petty individualism. It's also harder to attack/defend against an abstract identity because there is no person behind the persona.

Dramatic identites are entirely rhetorical. They serve no deep functional purpose except for appeals to emotion. As such, they probably should be encouraged through the medium's system of identities.

Question whether DramaticIdentity(s) are actually more rhetorical than OnlineIdentity(s). After all, what's in a name?

Contrast OnlineIdentity.

Actually, real people are also DramaticIdentities. DaveHarris is a fiction you invent to "explain" these writings with a coherent model. Your own identity is invented in much the same way - to explain yourself to yourself. To ascribe personality to a hurricane, a computer program or a corporation is a very human trait; it is just a reuse of the same mental modelling tools that we use for other people.

All identities, whether "real" or "dramatic", are arbitrary. They exist only in the mind of the beholder.

(That was the original intent of the pages on WardsWiki as I understand it. See also Wiki:EasternWuss.)

See also ErvingGoffman's The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life [1].

Must all DramaticIdentitys be designed to [purportedly] represent some group? What about an invented identity which is deliberately singular but designed using the same dramatic and rhetorical means? -- TheOnlyManWhoCares

I don't think DramaticIdentity necessarily represents a group. When I sign as "TheWikiMistress" on the wiki I look after, I'm taking up a role - which is more abstract and has more authority than my individual person. It is a dramatic identity. -- StephanieBooth

See also Wiki:DramaticIdentity
CategoryIdentity CategoryRole


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