All the World’s a Stage: Theorizing and Producing Blended Identities in a Cybercultural World explores the extent to which cyber and “real” selves increasingly overlap, intersect, and entwine. As the quotation from Shakespeare indicates, the question of the roles we play in society and their relation to our self is not new; however, the rise of cyberculture has further complicated the relationship between our sense of self and our social roles, because it provides more opportunities to adopt new or changed identities. Some contributors to this volume welcome the complexities of the self that cyberculture has engendered, and explore changes in morality, community, and identity. Others acknowledge the negative effects of such performative identities, questioning what we lose by constructing ourselves so constantly in response to a virtual audience. Nevertheless, cyberculture is now “real” culture, and coming to terms with who we are online increasingly determines who we are altogether.
Sabine Baumann is a Professor for Media Management and Economics at the Institute for Media Management and Journalism at Jade University in Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Her current research interests lie in media branding, media finance structures and hybrid organisational strategies for media companies.
Monica Flegel is an Associate Professor at Lakehead University in the Department of English. Her area of research is cultural studies, focusing specifically on fan fiction and female writers, and on animal studies and the cultural construction of the pet.