The Fragility of Identity in the Age of Manufacture
This essay begins with a discussion of how globalization poses a threat to identity. To support this claim, the second part reflects on the pathologies of the city, as characterized by Paul Ricoeur, with a particular emphasis on memory. Globalization’s effects are clearly manifest in the scale of the city, and as such, Ricoeur considers the pathology of the city an expression of global society’s pathology. Because for Ricoeur, identity is always narrative identity, and narratives are repositories of memories, the question of identity is also a question of the use and abuse of memory. The third part examines the maintenance of identity, particularly collective identity, in the age of manufacture and considers the place of the more vulnerable nations and their cities in the global age.