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Blockchain and Web3: Mirrors, “Jouissance” and Social and Personal Identity Formation

Victoria Lemieux (The University of British Columbia, Canada)

Defining Web3: A Guide to the New Cultural Economy

ISBN: 978-1-83549-601-5, eISBN: 978-1-83549-600-8

Publication date: 1 July 2024

Abstract

This paper argues that the concept of “jouissance” can help us understand the popularity of blockchain protocols, meme-coins, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the world of Web3. These technologies act as mirrors to project reflections that allow people to imagine social and personal selves differently. Meme-coins use dark humor to oppose mainstream society, and the popularity of NFTs cannot be fully explained by artistic merit or return on investment. Instead, each collectible NFT allows the collector to explore various possible representations of the self. It is argued that blockchains must be seen as socio-informational-technical systems that participate in the formation of the symbolic social structures giving rise to social and personal identity. By recognizing the personal and social significance of jouissance, we can appreciate the darker, more primal aspects of these phenomena that other theories and approaches cannot fully explain.

Keywords

Citation

Lemieux, V. (2024), "Blockchain and Web3: Mirrors, “Jouissance” and Social and Personal Identity Formation", DuPont, Q., Kavanagh, D. and Dylan-Ennis, P. (Ed.) Defining Web3: A Guide to the New Cultural Economy (Research in the Sociology of Organizations, Vol. 89), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 191-198. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0733-558X20240000089017

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024 Victoria Lemieux