LIQUID TIME

The modern society is facing a phenomenon of homogenization induced by globalization. This reality prompts a loss of meaning, jeopardizing the sense of identity. At a time of radical societal changes, our understanding of what iden- tity is, has shifted. As essential as it is to know who we are to impose ourselves in the urban crowd, overcoming issues around identity seems conceivable by finding a sense of belonging through local communities.

In this essay, I hope to illuminate issues of identity from a sociological and social angle, through ideas of urban communities, in order to have a better understanding of how postmodern conditions have altered the core of identity.

In the quest for identity, how do young people use ideas of community to build their sense of identity in New York and Tokyo in the modern age?

Aiming to answer the research question, I articulate the theory of ‘liquid mo- dernity’ of Zygmunt Bauman, ideas of ‘fluid’ identity of Stuart Hall, concept of ‘performativity’ of Judith Butler and finally Manuel Castells’ sociological approach to the city and modernity, around two case studies — the queer community in New York City and the Fashion community of Harajuku in Tokyo. Relevant instances personally conducted through interviews expose the importance of belonging to a community to find a sense of belonging, and thus, a sense of identity.

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