Deceit, desire and control: The identities of learners and teachers in cyberspace

Sian Bayne*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


How do students and teachers experience the construction of identity online? How do such identities relate to those they inhabit in embodied ‘real life’? Employing an over-arching metaphor drawn from Ovid’s myth of Arachne, this chapter weaves together theories of the constitution of the subject in cyberspace with the accounts of students and tutors, in order to explore the themes of mutability, deceit and metamorphosis in identity construction online. In particular, it will consider the common perspective emerging from students’ accounts in which online modes of identity formation are viewed negatively, as a dangerous deceit or deviance from the ‘natural’. These perspectives will be compared with the narratives of tutors for whom, surprisingly, the online space becomes a place in which traditional hierarchies can be re-asserted, and conventionally teacherly identities re-cast.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEducation in Cyberspace
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780203391068
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2013


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