Theory: Identity and Difference
These pages are derived from a Communications Theory seminar in which students discussed elements of popular/media culture which are (or have been) personally meaningful to them. The themes shown on the primary page (above) are those which seemed to make up the 'core' of the reasons why people might identify with or relate to particular media figures.
This was an important theme, with several of the media icons being chosen because they expressed themselves in interesting, challenging, individual ways.
The message to 'be yourself' was central here – and we have to mention Madonna's Express Yourself as powerful in this context – but Madonna was also celebrated for having had so many apparent personas over the years, making it more difficult to establish what the 'self' would be. But we feel that Madonna always did (and does) what she wants to do, and that is the important point.
People were admired for having developed public images which were unconventional – a strong link to the theme of being different.
Sylvia Plath (left) was also mentioned by someone who had been inspired by her artistry, resilience, and powers of self-expression.