Identity Within and Without

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https://centtuafadist.tk Experiment 1 tested if exposure to movies of actors portraying happy and sad emotions through their bodily actions resulted in emotional action aftereffects: a change in the perception of neutral actions biased toward the opposite of the adapted emotion. The adaptation paradigm was adapted from Fox and Barton , who investigated the role of identity in emotion perception from faces. The effect of stimulus similarity on the magnitude of emotional action aftereffects was tested by varying the similarity between actions executed in the adapting and test stimuli, and by varying the similarity between the identities of the actors executing the actions.

Stimuli were selected from stimulus set 1 see General method section : two females and two males actors performing three actions lifting a box, sitting down, and walking. Actions performed in a happy and sad manner were used as adapting stimuli, while actions performed in a neutral manner were used as test stimuli. Stimuli were presented across five blocks, each containing 24 trials. In an initial control block without adaptation, 12 test stimuli depicting four actors performing three actions in a neutral manner were presented twice in a pseudorandom order.

The control block was later used as a baseline for calculating the aftereffects. Adapting stimuli happy and sad actions were presented for 16 s each movie was repeated eight times , followed by a 0.

(Main text, part I)

Each test stimulus was presented following both happy and sad adaptation stimuli, where this factor was interleaved within the block. Following the participant response there was an inter-trial interval ITI of 5 s before the start of the next trial. Mean estimates of the emotion perceived in the test stimuli were calculated separately for the control, and happy and sad adaptation conditions across the 4 stimulus similarity conditions. Removal of this data did not change the significance of the following analysis.

Figure 2. Emotional action aftereffects for different pairings of adapting and test actions. Actions executed by the adapting and test actors could either be the same or different same action, different action , and the identity of the actor in the adapting and test stimuli could either be the same or different same identity, different identity. Positive values indicate that adaptation made the test actors appear happier than in the no-adaptation condition , negative values indicate that adaptation made the test actors appear sadder. Error bars represent standard error of the mean SEM.

For conditions where the adapting and test stimuli contained different actions, happy and sad aftereffects were not significantly different from each other, indicating that adaptation to emotional action adaptation does not transfer from one action type to another. In Experiment 2 we clarified whether the emotional action aftereffects were due to biases in perception rather than post-perceptual processes, for example biases in participant responses or decisions. We reasoned that aftereffects resulting from a perceptual process would result in test actions being categorized as conveying the opposite emotion following adaptation see Hsu and Young, ; Webster et al.

Here, perceptual adaptation to one emotion e. In these cases, participants could in principle have reasoned that since the test stimulus was clearly different from the adapting stimulus, they should select a response option that was clearly different from the adapting stimulus. Further, to check that these two emotional action aftereffects were not dependent upon any particular set of stimuli, we selected movies from stimulus set 2 see General method.

Removal of these data did not change the significance of the following analysis. Stimuli were obtained from stimulus set 2 see General method. Eight females and eight males actors performing walking actions were selected for the experiment. Walking actions performed in a happy and sad manner were used as adapting stimuli, while walking actions in a neutral manner were used as test stimuli. The control condition was split across two blocks before and after adaptation , in order to obtain a stable measure of test stimulus emotion over the duration of the experiment. Adapting stimuli happy and sad actions were displayed for 8 s by repeating the movie four times ; the ISI was 0.

Each test stimulus was presented following happy and sad adaptation. Participants categorized each test movie as happy, sad, surprised or disgusted a 4AFC task. Surprise and disgust were selected as additional options as they vary from happiness and sadness in valence and arousal Russell, Following the participant response there was an inter-trial interval of 5 s before the start of the next trial. For each participant, and each adaptation block, we calculated percentage of responses for each of the 4 possible emotions happy, sad, surprised, and disgusted; cf.

Skinner and Benton, We averaged the responses from both control blocks and calculated the percentage of each response as for the adaptation blocks. Aftereffects were calculated by subtracting the percentage of each response from the control blocks from percentage of each response to the same stimuli following happy and sad adaptation for same and different identity conditions separately. No other main effects or interactions reached significance. Figure 3. Aftereffect magnitude calculated as the change in the mean percentage of the responses for each of the four possible emotions conveyed by test stimuli following happy and sad adaptation positive values indicate more often selected emotion following adaptation; negative values indicate less often selected emotion following adaptation.

The identity of the actors in the adapting and test stimuli were either the same A or different B. The first two experiments indicated that adaptation influences perceptual mechanisms that represent emotional actions, and that these mechanisms are selective for the executed action. We find that when the identities of the adapting and test actors are the same, aftereffects are greater than when the identities of the adapting and test actors are different Figures 2 , 3.

Similar to the face aftereffects observed by Fox and Barton this indicates that action emotion can be represented irrespective of actor identity, but also actor identity can influence the representation of action emotion. These results suggest that there are two potential mechanisms underlying the coding of action emotion that are both susceptable to percetual adaptation. Adaptation aftereffects seen with other stimuli show a characteristic logarithmic build-up and exponential decay over time, e.

To further test whether our two emotional action aftereffects show the same characteristic dynamics as previously reported perceptual aftereffects we examined their build-up and decay over time. Furthermore, these results would help further distinguish the perceptual aftereffects we observe from other post-perceptual processes. All participants were naive to the purpose of the experiment. Stimuli were obtained from stimulus set 1 see General method.

Eight females and eight males actors performing four different actions lifting a box, putting down a box, sitting down on a chair, and walking to the right were selected for the experiment. Actions performed in a happy and sad manner were used as adapting stimuli, while actions in a neutral manner were used as test stimuli. In both experiments we varied the duration of the adapting stimulus 2, 4, 8, 16 s by repeating the adapting movie a number of times 1, 2, 4, 8 repeats , and varied the ISI between the adapting and test stimuli , , , ms in Experiment 3a; , , , ms in Experiment 3b.

The choice of adaptation durations and ISIs in Experiment 3a was based upon previous measures of the duration of face identity aftereffects Leopold et al. Following Experiment 3a we conducted Experiment 3b, here we decided to extend the range of tested ISIs to ms to better sample the possible decline of aftereffects over time. In Experiment 3a the identity of the actor and the type of action performed in the adapting and test movies were identical on every trial.

In Experiment 3b, the type of action performed by the actor in the adapting and test movies was identical on every trial, however, the identity and gender of the actor was always different. Participants completed trials in total over two testing sessions. Aftereffects were calculated by subtracting the mean ratings of the test stimuli following adaptation to sad stimuli from the mean ratings of the test stimuli following adaptation to happy stimuli.

This difference value represented the magnitude of the aftereffect. Here, positive values indicated typical, repulsive aftereffects, where following adaptation the emotion conveyed by the test actors looked like the opposite of the emotion conveyed by the adapting actors. Negative aftereffects values indicated that following adaptation, the emotion conveyed by the test actors looks similar to the emotion conveyed by the adapting actors. Although this method precludes identifying the relative contribution of happy and sad actions to emotional aftereffect dynamics, it reduces any systematic biases, maximizes the magnitude of any aftereffects and eliminates the necessity for a control condition without adaptation, thereby allowing us to test many experimental conditions within a limited testing period.

Mean aftereffects for the 16 different conditions were calculated in both Experiments 3a and 3b and are plotted in Figure 4. Data from one participant female, age 20 in Experiment 3a was discarded from the analysis as outlying data. Repeating the analysis with this data did not change the significance of the results when testing with ANOVA. For both Experiments 3a and 3b, all aftereffects were positive, indicating that under all conditions adaptation had a repulsive effect.

The dynamics of the emotional action aftereffects, however, appeared to be different in the two experiments compare Figures 4A,B. Figure 4. All aftereffects showed positive values typical of repulsive aftereffects, where test stimuli looked more like the opposite of the adapting stimuli.

Error bars indicate SEM. The reason for the lack of significance of ISI on aftereffect magnitude in Experiment 3b may be due to a number of factors. First, following 1 repeat of the adapting stimulus there was little aftereffect at any ISI. The small and non-significant aftereffects in Experiment 3b obtained after 1 and 2 repeats may have contributed to the non-significant main effect of ISI. Second, the range of ISIs that we tested for both Experiments 3a and 3b may have been too restricted, with aftereffects tested over a greater range of ISIs we may have found a significant decline in the magnitude of both same identity and different identity aftereffects.

In order to better illustrate the build-up and decay of the emotional action aftereffects we re-plotted the aftereffects for same and different identity conditions on a semi-log scale, as a function of adaptation repeats Figures 5A,B and ISI duration Figures 5C,D ; cf. The lack of decay of the aftereffects in the same identity condition raised a possibility that same identity and different identity aftereffects show a difference in storage.

Storage occurs when a period of non-stimulation e. In consequence, the decay of an aftereffect is delayed as it persists for a period of non-stimulation Thompson and Wright, Storage has previously been reported for motion aftereffects e. Therefore in Experiment 4 we tested the decay of emotional action aftereffect over a short ms and long Figure 5.

Same identity A,C and different identity B,D aftereffects plotted on a semi-log scale. In Experiment 4 we wanted to assess whether the lack of significant decline with time observed in Experiments 3a and b was a function of the ISIs originally chosen, and whether the similarity of the identity of the actor in the adapting and test stimuli had an influence on the duration of aftereffects. Experiments 3a and 3b gave an indication for the duration of emotional action aftereffects following 4 repeats of adapting stimuli. At long ISIs Stimuli were obtained from stimulus set 1 see General methods.

Four females and 4 males actors performing four different actions lifting a box, putting down a box, sitting down, and walking were selected for the experiment. Adapting stimuli happy or sad actions were presented for 8 s repeated four times. Inter-stimulus intervals, determined in pilot testing, were ms and Each test stimulus was presented following happy and sad adaptation and each ISI.

We then calculated aftereffect magnitudes by subtracting responses following sad adaptation from responses following happy adaptation. Results with and without the outlying data are described below. Figure 6. Emotional action aftereffects as a function of the ISI. Here we show that adaptation to naturalistic movies of whole-body actions results in emotional aftereffects. Adaptation to an actor conveying either happiness or sadness biases subsequent perception of emotion conveyed by either the same or another individual to appear like the opposite emotion. Importantly, we see that the characteristics of the aftereffects are dependent upon whether the subsequent individual has the same or a different identity to the adapting actor.

The effects observed here are likely to result from adaptation of high level action coding mechanisms that represent the emotions of actors. The emotional action aftereffects show several of the characteristics of previously observed high-level aftereffects. First, similarity between adapting and test stimuli determined aftereffect magnitude see Kohn, ; Verhoef et al.

Aftereffects were largest when the identity and the action of the adapting and test stimuli were the same. As the identity or the action differed between these stimuli, aftereffects became smaller. In addition, aftereffects failed to transfer across different actions suggesting that the aftereffects did not result from cognitive biases, where decision regarding the test stimuli could be based purely on the valence information.

Second, the adaptation aftereffects observed here did not result from a change in the response or decisions made by the participants during the experiments. Experiment 2 showed that participants did not alter their response following adaptation; rather, they selectively categorized the emotion of the test stimuli as the emotion opposite to the adaptor's emotion discussed in Hsu and Young, Third, aftereffect magnitude increased with adaptation exposure as for other high-level action and face aftereffects e.

Finally, the dominating effect here was the effect of high-level emotion adaptation, as the aftereffect was predominantly determined by the emotion conveyed by the adapting actor. Low-level retinotopic dependent adaptation is unlikely to explain the effects that we observe here, as adapting and test stimuli were dynamic with naturally occurring differences in expressions of emotions and kinematics across actors. Furthermore, actors were never presented in precisely overlapping retinotopic locations comparable to e.

Exhibition | ‘Within and Without: Body Image and the Self’ at BMAG

Together, these results rule out other possible low-level or post-perceptual explanations for emotional action aftereffects that might account for some other demonstrations of high-level perceptual aftereffects. We cannot, however, rule out the contribution of adaptation in motion processing mechanisms, which is likely to occur simultaneously when viewing complex action stimuli e.

Action speed is an important cue in the emotion recognition from body actions e. Other postural and dynamic features that do not rely on speed are also critical for expression and for perception of emotional actions e. These postural e. It is therefore plausible that the aftereffects observed here resulted from adaptation at multiple levels of action visual processing.

Importantly, our studies with emotional action aftereffects indicate that identity plays a role in the representations of emotional actions, and identity can modulate the way that emotional actions are processed. When the identities of the adapting and test actors were the same aftereffects were larger than when the identities of the adapting and test actors were different.

Furthermore, when the identities of the adapting and test actors were the same, the aftereffects did not appear to decline over the time period we tested up to In contrast, when the identities of the adapting and test actors were different, the aftereffects declined over time. Thus, emotional action aftereffects show different magnitudes and decay functions dependent upon the relationship between the identity of adapting and test actors.

One explanation for our results is that emotional actions are represented in both an identity-dependent and identity-independent way. When adapting and test actors have the same identity, the aftereffects increase in magnitude and appear to last much longer than typical high-level action or face aftereffects. The increase in aftereffect magnitude could be explained by an increase in visual similarity between the adapting and test stimuli. However, this increase in visual similarity could not abolish the decay of the aftereffect over time in the way that we observe here.

A parsimonious explanation is that an identity-dependent mechanism is additionally adapted when adapting and test stimuli have the same identities, resulting in a larger aftereffect and a longer-lasting influence on the representations of the emotions of individual actors.

2. Naming of names

Diasporic mobility and resettlement connect at least two places, while the simultaneity of migration of a group to more than one places creates the conditions for networked relations across places. It is a quest informed by ever-evolving and interacting narratives of identity. This finding implies that in conjunction with trauma treatment, the resilience of refugee patients should be strengthened through guidance in the acculturation process. When our inherently creative, agile and loving consciousness is reunited with the power of science, technology , and innovation to rapidly and radically change anything in the material world, then, and only then, will everything be impossible. The legacy of Jose Rizal, the Filipino national hero, to the Asian renaissance according to the Indonesian scholar Adriana Elisabeth is "cultural rebirth and empowerment" , 5. We have now to reconceptualize identity as process of identification, and that is a different matter. Such differences are said to come "from the specific ways ethnolinguistic groups adapted to their particular environment over long periods of time, the varying impact of outside influences, and the degree of their involvement in national affairs" Roxas-Lim ,

Such long-lasting aftereffects are not necessarily unusual, as they have been previously reported with other social stimuli such as gaze direction e. These previous effects, however, were observed with much longer adaptation periods than we have used in our experiment reported here.

Within and Without: Body Image and the Self, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Identity has also been shown to affect the decay of face aftereffects Kiani et al. For both identity-dependent and identity-independent aftereffects, adaptation never transferred across different actions. Different actions have different kinematics, and bodily expression of emotion is dependent upon the characteristic kinematics of the action e. The failure of adaptation to one set of characteristic movements to exert an influence on the perception of a very different set of movements, suggests that actor emotion may be coded within action specific neural mechanisms.

In some ways, these results parallel findings of face emotion aftereffects. Evidence from face adaptation studies suggest the existence of a common visual representation that underlies the coding of face identity and face expression Ellamil et al. This common representation may contain one dimension that codes both the identity and expression, and the other dimension that is selective for identity or expression Calder, ; Rhodes et al.

These findings are also consistent with Haxby et al. Specifically, the fusiform face area FFA , predominantly involved in the coding of the invariant aspects of the face, may also play a supportive role in the coding of emotional expressions Haxby et al. Similarly, processing of voice identity and voice emotion is thought to be processed by seperate, but interacting systems Belin et al. While early analysis of vocal input from primary auditory cortex to the middle part of the STS is shared for different types of vocal information, at the highest level of voice processing the pathways become independent Belin et al.

The similarity between the aftereffects we observed with emotional action adaptation and our understanding of how faces Haxby et al. Grossman et al. The neural substrates underlying our ability to recognize actor identity from body form and motion have not been well delineated, but may involve the Extrastriate Body Area EBA; Saxe et al. Adaptation in more anterior regions of the temporal cortex that takes into account actor identity may underlie the emotional action aftereffect that is influenced by the identity of the individual actors; although this suggestion is more speculative.

Anterior cortical regions do not show the same adaptation characteristics as the more posterior cortical regions cf. Verhoef et al. The less characteristic longer lasting adaptation effects observed here, and also seen in some face adaptation experiments e. Such long lasting aftereffects may shift the observer's reference point according to their recent experience in order to optimize the sensory processing of the external world over a longer period of time.

This study has demonstrated that prior exposure to emotional whole-body actions influences the perception of the emotion conveyed by subsequent actions via a perceptual adaptation mechanism. Our visual adaptation experiments reveal two separate processing mechanisms for emotional actions with different characteristics: one mechanism that processes actor emotion irrespective of actor identity, and one that processes actor emotion taking into account actor identity.

This organization parallels recent data on the processing of face information that suggest that rather than completely separate processing of emotion and identity, representations of emotion, and identity can interact. These mechanisms we study here would not only help us to determine the emotions of individuals around us from their actions and behavior, but also critically ensure the identity of the individual is linked to the specific emotions expressed.

We thank Andy Young and Bruce Keefe for comments on an earlier draft of this manuscript. All data supporting this study are provided as supplementary information accompanying this paper. The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Atkinson, A. Emotion perception from dynamic and static body expressions in point-light and full-light displays. Perception 33, — Evidence for distinct contributions of form and motion information to the recognition of emotions from body gestures. Cognition , 59— Barraclough, N. Dynamics of walking adaptation aftereffects induced in static images of walking actors.

Vision Res. Visual aftereffects for walking actions reveal underlying neural mechanisms for action recognition.

Visual adaptation to goal-directed hand actions. Baseler, H. Neural responses to expression and gaze in the posterior superior temporal sulcus interact with facial identity. Cortex 24, — Belin, P. Thinking the voice: neural correclates of voice perception. Trends Cogn. Benton, C. Biological movement and the encoding of its motion and orientation.

Bruce, V. Understanding face recognition. Buchanan, T.

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Recognition of emotional prosody and verbal components of spoken language: an fMRI study. Brain Res. Butler, A. Factors contributing to the adaptation aftereffects of facial expression. Calder, A. Calder, G. Rhodes, M. Johnson, J. Haxby Oxford: Oxford University Press , — Google Scholar. Understanding the recognition of facial identity and facial expression.

Campanella, S. Integrating face and voice in person perception. Campbell, J. Evidence that identity-dependent and identity-independent neural populations are recruited in the perception of five basic emotional facial expressions. Carbon, C. Sustained effects of adaptation on the perception of familiar faces. Face adaptation affects show strong and long-lasting transfer from lab to more ecological contexts.

A modulatory role for facial expressions in prosopagnosia. Standing up for the body. Recent progress in uncovering the networks involved in the perception of bodies and bodily expressions. Such a snub deserved a response. Brunelleschi had a plan: take away his identity. Grasso returned home from his workshop the next day to find his front door locked. The voice called itself Grasso and referred to him as Matteo, a local craftsman. Baffled, Grasso headed for the Piazza di San Giovanni to seek out friends, elucidation, reassurance.

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Identity Within and Without book. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. Each person has at least two identities: the inner, personal i. M.R.P.: 2, Kindle Price: Save 1, (89%). inclusive of all taxes includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet. Sold by: Amazon.

He spent the night in jail. Valentin Groebner, a historian, uses the story of Il Grasso to illustrate his study of how people were identified in early modern Europe. It reveals two fundamental principles of personal identity. The second is that anything like a modern life is rendered all but impossible when that recognition is not forthcoming, or is suborned.

Put those two things together and you see why the provision and policing of identity is one of the foundations of the modern state and the lives lived in it. People can identify in many ways, and often do so simultaneously. Your correspondent will happily reveal that he is an immigrant never an expat but also a pukka Londoner and none dare say him nay.

Political and social culture—at least in the liberal West—have matured to a degree where an increasing number of countries allow him to choose his pronouns and assert his gender unilaterally. But a claim that his name is Leo Mirani, that he was born in and that he is a legal alien resident in Britain holds little weight without documentary evidence in areas regulated by the state: finance, housing, employment, marriage.

In the 19th and 20th centuries the power to issue legal identity, like the power to issue fiat money, became a state monopoly. When states do not properly apply this power, people suffer. In the poor world those without proof of identity may be cut off from food rations, public housing and other government assistance. The World Bank reckons that at least a billion people lack an official proof of identity. Being undocumented means being cut off from the modern economy—or working in the shadows and risking exploitation. Identity is a vitally important service for citizens if they are to fully participate in the economy and society.

The fact that this service depends on the state raises problems. Identity, like tokens of monetary value, can be taken away by the state that issues it.

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Being undocumented means being cut off from the economy, or working in the shadows and risking exploitation. Sometimes the oddities are simply inconvenient. Sometimes real harm is done. For a worked example look no further than Britain. Britons, or at least those whose political voices are heard, have for generations seen the idea of being asked for their papers by an organ of the state as disturbingly continental. The identity services offered by the state are circumscribed appropriately.

Compulsory identity cards have only been issued during wartime; efforts to reintroduce them have been repulsed. In , though, the media started reporting on dozens of legal residents being harassed, detained or in some cases deported because they could not prove their right to be in the country. The response of many observers, including liberal ones like this newspaper, was to call for a national identity register. But the fact that such registers are now a necessity does not mean that they are not, also, a worry.

The information revolution means that far more data than ever before can be associated with people entered in such registers, a possibility being used liberally—which, in these matters, risks meaning illiberally—by states of all sorts. China and India are both developing elaborate systems not just to identify over a billion people each, but to organise their lives. This issue is exacerbated by another change to the world of identity—online authentication. The power governments guard in the physical world has, online, been taken up by Facebook and Google.

Nine out of ten non-Chinese websites that allow their users to log in with the credentials provided by another company use one or both of them. The economic incentives of the internet mean that these systems, like government bureaucracies, associate identity with ever greater swathes of information built up by the data-brokers who manage the flows of information between advertisers, tech firms and consumer companies. The firms which provide identity services have insight into the lives of their users, as states have into the lives of their citizens.

This introduces new vulnerabilities. Outside police states, that level of detail was rarely accessible to 20th-century bureaucracies. Increasingly they now have the means to create such portraits—as a result, so do bad actors within the system, and criminals who break into it. As the gap between physical, self-asserted identity and remote, information-based identity has grown, the risk of being known to and identifiable by people you have never met increases. Again, the analogy with money illuminates.

There are good reasons for society to have evolved from value stored in the weighable gold of Florentine ducats to the digital codes of bank databases. But that does not mean the new system is in all ways more secure. Data breaches are common—Equifax, Yahoo and Marriott have all lost customer information. So are attacks. But information technology provides possible avenues for improvement, too. New systems could allow the obligations and the identity to be unbundled—for each individual to be able to show that they deserved something without having to say who, exactly, they were.

Jeremy Bentham, an English philosopher, suggested in the 18th century that people should have a unique identifier based on their name and place and date of birth tattooed on their wrists. The answer to this important question would no longer be liable to evasion. To do the things that states want to do—be that tax their own people, fight other states, or improve the human condition—requires a particular way of seeing the world.

As James C. It knew precious little about its subjects, their wealth, their landholdings and yields, their location, their very identity. The building blocks of a functioning society that people in the rich world mostly take for granted—permanent surnames, street numbers and addresses, standard units of weights and measurement—all came from attempts to draw such maps and thus make the world legible, as Mr Scott put it, to its states.

A map is a system of co-ordinates. So is an identity. It takes descriptors applicable across the population and uses them to specify an individual.

3. The truth of reconciliation

It was not until that the word came to be used to denote individuality. For most people over most of history it has been the sameness that has mattered: identity tended to be a group designation. Sects, ethnicities and religions distinguished themselves from others and signalled membership of their groups through dress and headgear. Mostly this identification came from the group itself; sometimes it was imposed on them. As early as the eighth century Jews were required to wear distinctive clothing in the Islamic world, a practice adopted by medieval Catholic Europe and revived more recently by the Nazis.

Most early states were able to operate with these broad identities by being pretty broad-brush themselves; they dealt with intermediaries such as local chieftains, village heads and holy men, or through collective fines or punishment. They had some need for specifics: the Romans, peculiarly adept at organised violence, established the notion of a census so the state could keep tabs on young men of fighting age and call them up as necessary. But states cared much more about land, yields and ownership than they did about people per se. Domesday Book, through which William the Conqueror made legible the English lands he had invaded in , was concerned almost entirely with primary landowners; peasants are listed by first name—a very vague form of identity—along with other assets such as land and mills.

This way of looking at the world lingered for centuries: Louis XVI managed to escape from revolutionary Paris in because passports issued to nobility at the time listed their staff by description and nothing else. Louis assumed the dress of a valet. In this world surnames—qualifiers added to the name proper—that denoted family were important almost exclusively when there was land or title to inherit. The vast mass of the people made do with a single name, which in a village is quite enough, since everyone knows you anyway.

That said, names were quite few. William the Conqueror may not have been interested in the little people, but they happily named sons after him. When needed, specificity could be added with a patronym or a professional description which, if its possessor passed on his profession, might run in the family. Smith was the most common surname in England for centuries; Johnson preserves a popular patronymic, as does Wilson.

It was only in 15th-century Florence that tax officials began to insist on a second name to help them see who was who, imposing a surname on those who lacked one. But away from rich cities and the seats of power things were slow to change. It took until the 17th century for people in the remotest parts of Tuscany to acquire fixed last names. He had in mind the Battle of Valmy, at which the French revolutionary army, imbued, it is said, with a new spirit of nationhood, beat the Prussians, who outnumbered and outgunned them.

But the creation of civil status was a watershed too. It took the question of identity away from a hodgepodge of vouching for one another, parish records and the like. The 19th century saw the idea of such unique and authoritatively recorded relationships established as the primary form of identity across the metropolitan and colonial world.

Part of this new state enforcement of identity was a legal prohibition on changing your name without seeking permission. Another was the identity card. France introduced them in Algeria in , for vagrants in metropolitan France in , and for foreigners in The identities of criminals were of particular interest. In Prussia standardised the ways in which the police described people. If state records were correct, your body no longer needed to be written on, as Bentham had suggested, in order to reveal definitively who you were.

Nameless-A Life Without Identity

The anatomical measure that came to rule the roost was the fingerprint, simply taken, easily reproduced, purportedly unique—and also, remarkably, present even when the identifiable body that had left it was gone. The ability of the state to read the world was taken to a new level. The fingerprint was just the start. There exist today any number of unique identifiers. The field of biometrics offers recognition by face, gait, retina, ear and more.

There are official documents. And there are also mobile phone numbers, social network ID s, smartphone device ID s, constellations of browser cookies. Records of each are largely created separately from each other, and administered by divergent or competing interests within and outside the state. When reconciled, they can produce detailed portraits of the person they identify, locating them according to all sorts of varied co-ordinates.

They both show how the control of identity is evolving in the 21st century. Neither is reassuring. Scott in that you are not wrong. It is non-binary with respect to gender, too. But it is not, as originally conceived, voluntary. By the summer of Aadhaar was required or encouraged by nearly every government agency and programme.

People reported being asked for Aadhaar when trying to send mail at the post office. The Reserve Bank of India ordered banks to link the number with accounts. The department of telecoms required it for a mobile phone subscriptions. Websites for arranging marriages started asking for it. Amazon asked people for Aadhaar numbers to track lost packages. The question of whether all this was constitutional was brought to the Supreme Court.

In September it ruled that it was, and allowed its use in the administration of welfare payments, subsidies and taxes, in effect making it mandatory. But it narrowed its use by the state and banned it for private companies. That restriction may not last. Arun Jaitley, the finance minister, has hinted that the government will pass new legislation to allow private use of the national ID.

No one knows. Aadhaar has in some cases cut off access to benefits for people who previously received them and were not obviously fraudulent. Those who never got access in the first place have suffered, too. In February a woman gave birth outside a public hospital after being turned away for not having Aadhaar. Residents of Jagdamba Camp, a slum in South Delhi, say the complexity of the system for linking Aadhaar to new ration cards has resulted in family members being dropped off the list. Sainaj, a year-old housewife, could not register her year-old daughter, who is paralysed and unable to leave the house.

She no longer receives food benefits, disability benefits, or free medication.