Co-sponsored by Sociology Department (SAS), School of Communication and Information as well as Department of Journalism and Media Studies (SC&I)
A powerful ethos of performance permeates work, politics, and leisure in modern society. By examining historical cases of Red Guard factionalism and contemporary practices of micro-celebrity on livestreaming and social media platforms, this talk shows how scripts of this cultural ethos compel people to perform in similar ways even under radically different social conditions. These cultural scripts prescribe and reward publicly visible behavior. The reward could be economic success or fame, but more often it is a sense of social recognition. Such reward may sometimes go against personal interest and involve great sacrifice, even death.
Guobin Yang is the Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication & Sociology at the Annenberg School for Communication & Department of Sociology of University of Pennsylvania, where he directs the Center on Digital Culture and Society.