Plagiarism and college culture

Blog for Eng 114. Spring 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Blog #4:My Word Chapter 3: I'm not Performing, I'm Adapting

Like most of the chapters I've read so far, Chapter 3 is another one of those readings that opened up my mind.[hah, you never stop learning right?]

The authentic self and performance self are black and white ideals, but like Blum, I also see that it doesn't apply to everyone and that those two types "may alternate within the same individual."

The performance self "say what is expected, whatever suits the occasion" and is described as goal oriented and to them"all that matters is the effect of their actions." In comparison, the authentic self is quite the opposite and values authorship, uniqueness, and authenticity. As Blum continued to differentiate between the two in the course of the chapter, I started asking, "which one am I?"

Am I having an identity crisis? I've never felt more lost, but I guess I'm just in the gray area, straddling the fence between this or that. At first I thought I was more of the authentic self, I'd never plagiarize intentionally, I stay true to myself as much as possible and I value my words as well as the words of others. However, I would have to say that I am goal oriented and I do enjoy the collaboration of ideas.

My favorite part of the chapter were the interviews on keeping up with appearances and how "performing" affects integrity. It's amusing how I can relate to most of what the students said! So am I afterall just a version of the performance self? Just like the students I do act differently around different people based on the comfort level, but does that mean I'm not being true to myself?

Favorite quote that describes performance selves: "values lie in changing and sharing. integrity may be important, but it is the integrity that is gained from the respect of others in society rather than from a sense of wholeness."

I've never realized how our integrity is constantly challenged, especially around our peers and even in school. One student was interviewed on whether she would write about something she didn't believe in if it meant the difference between passing or failing. The authentic self "would" rather write what they felt despite the consequences and at times students would feel strongly enough to rebuke a professor's opinion, but it's all about the stakes. If it was between an A or a B, sure why not, but an A or an F? The performance self kicks in and adapts.

Hah. I guess that's what the performance self truly's not fake, it's a survivalist, it adapts to an environment/situation in order to achieve the desired outcome. No one can be blamed for that right? So when it comes back to the question of whether people aren't being true to themselves when they act's not so true at all! I know there are some exceptions, but I believe that most of the time people are truly being themselves, but subdue their personalities based on the people they are surrounded with. I don't really think people are being fake when they only choose to reveal or hide a part of themselves to certain people. they're not losing their integrity...they're just choosing to show what they deem appropriate based on the circumstances. As for facebook, myspace, aim, encourages the performance way of keeping up appearances and meeting the expectations of those we associate with.

As for the quote:
"The performance self is more prone to cheat and plagiarize than the authentic self...For a performance self, intellectual property is a quaint yet meaningless notion."

I do agree with Blum's statement. If performance selves only care about that good grade, what would stop them from plagiarizing? Ok, so if a performance self plagiarizes I still think they'd feel guilty about it, somewhat, but then again if intellectual property doesn't mean anything to them...then perhaps thats the cure for any guilt. The performance self wouldn't see plagiarizing as losing integrity because according to them...ideas are not something to be owned, but something to be shared. I think though that if you do borrow ideas/quotes, you might as well "plagiarize" properly with citation.


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