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To Cast a Long Shadow: Theorising the Perseverance of Identity Vestiges

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paper

Published
Publication date28/06/2018
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Drawing upon a study of individuals who have outgrown their membership of the Chinese hip-hop fan community, we contribute to the theorisation of nonlinear and amorphous identity dynamics within CCT through introducing the concept of the vestigial self. We explore how vestiges of individuals’ micro-culturally forged identities persevere long after individuals have transitioned away from identification with particular communities. Through unpacking the continuity, synthesis and operation of various vestiges of who they “used to be” including fantasies, sexual scripts and cultural narcissism, we discuss how consumers improvise links between former, current and possible selves to negotiate social interactions across time and place. Here, we unpick the micro and macro catalysts, turning points and transitions that reactivate imprints of individuals’ former identifications and ideological orientations. This allows us to theorise the vestigial self as an existential long shadow which accompanies consumers as they navigate through the course of their lives.