Print this page Share

Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age

ISBN: 978-1-118-18113-3
240 pages
November 2011
Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age (1118181131) cover image


Explore the intersection of technology and identity

Does technology cause a shift in how we perceive our relationships and ourselves?
To find the answer, global communications leader Alcatel-Lucent commissioned an extensive research study. Subjects crossed geographic, generational, socioeconomic, and cultural boundaries. Hundreds of hours of documented observation and interviews with real people led to the fascinating conclusions in these pages. While technology will never define us, this study reveals how profoundly it influences the way we define ourselves.

Coverage includes:

The 3-P Model of Identity
Presentation: The Mirror Image 
Protection: Exposing the Blind Spots 
Preference: The (Un)Conscious Filter of (In)Finite Choice 

The Universal Laws 
The Law of Learned Helplessness: Failure Is the Only Option 
The Law of Illusion: Lie to Me 
The Law of Recall: Taking It from the Top 
Rationalization: Finding Harmony in the Discord 

Identity through the Life Stages 
Teenage Growing Pains
Emerging Adulthood: In Search of the Ideal
The "Meet" Market 
The Parent Puzzle 
The Midlife Rebirth 

Who Are We Becoming?

Whether your interest lies in sociology, psychology, marketing or technology, Identity Shift examines the impact of living in an age where virtually all of our personal information and interactions with others can be available with the click of a mouse.



See More

Table of Contents

Prologue: Who Are You? xvii

Part 1: The 3-P Model of Identity 1

Chapter 1: Presentation: The Mirror Image 3

Chapter 2: Protection: Exposing the Blind Spots 13

Chapter 3: Preference: The (Un)Conscious Filter of (In)Finite Choice 25

Chapter 4: Trust: Meeting at the Crossroads of Identity 37

Part 2: The Universal Laws 49

Chapter 5: The Law of Learned Helplessness: Failure Is the Only Option 51

Chapter 6: The Law of Illusion: Lie to Me 63

Chapter 7: The Law of Recall: Taking It from the Top 75

Chapter 8: Rationalization: Finding Harmony in the Discord 87

Part 3: Identity Through the Life Stages 99

Chapter 9: Teenage Growing Pains 101

Chapter 10: Emerging Adulthood: In Search of the Ideal 113

Chapter 11: The "Meet" Market 125

Chapter 12: The Parent Puzzle 139

Chapter 13: The Midlife Rebirth 153

Epilogue: Who Are We Becoming? 163

Appendix: Through the Lens of Research 173



See More

Author Information

Allison Cerra is Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Public Affairs for Alcatel-Lucent in the Americas Region. She has 15+ years of marketing, sales, and product management experience.

Christina James is a Director of Solutions Marketing at Alcatel-Lucent. Her more than 15 years of experience include marketing and communications in the technology sector.

See More

Press Release

November 29, 2011
New book Identity Shift explores how technology and our personal identities are blurring in today’s networked world

As social networking, smartphones, tablet devices and 24/7 connectivity increasingly transform the way society lives and works, the technology behind it is bringing about a dramatic shift in how people view themselves and others, according to Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age, a new book written by leading market research experts, Allison Cerra and Christina James, from Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris & NYSE: ALU).

The second in “The Shift” series of Web 2.0 analyses, the book looks at consumer behavior across all the key stages of life, from birth to adulthood, and reveals a wealth of interesting findings related to how people at different points in life use, and are influenced by, communications technologies such as:

  • 43% of parents say it is difficult to protect their children from inappropriate content and offensive language online;
  • 63% of young people in the study have “stretched the truth” about themselves to improve their online appearance;
  • More than half of empty nesters and retirees spend time updating their social networking page to project the right image of themselves;
  • Seven in ten have ignored friend requests to limit who sees their postings, yet 3 in 4 interact online with people they’ve never met in person; and
  • There is a 60% correlation between how much a consumer said they trust a brand, and how much they were willing to pay them as a result, revealing the true value of consumer “trust.”

“As more of our lives are being lived on networks and the growing variety of devices that are connected to them, we are exposing more about who we are to others and companies serving us,” said Cerra, who also is Vice President of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs for Alcatel-Lucent’s Americas Region. ““Earning the coveted trust of consumers is the key to unlocking new value and creating service potential in today’s networked age. But whether or not you are part of the technology industry, the findings in this book will open your eyes to how people set their public and private boundaries and how they differ across defining moments of an individual’s life.”

According to the research outlined in the book, with technology having such an effect on social behavior and the profiles individuals create for themselves, boundaries between ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ lives are breaking down - which is creating both positive and negative implications for consumers.

Overview and methodology

The research behind Identity Shift was conducted as part of a year-long effort to help consumers and Alcatel-Lucent’s customers better understand the impact today’s hyper-connected world has on individuals’ perception of themselves and others.

The primary research model utilized is known as Ethnography, a research practice with its roots in anthropology, where an emphasis is placed on close interaction with subjects as a means for understanding their lives and the social dynamics within it.

Research for the book included a quantitative approach based on interviews with more than 5,000 American consumers, as well as with more than 30 in-home visits across the United States to observe subjects in various age groups as they went about their day, and the technologies they are surrounded by throughout that day.  Additionally, findings from the research were documented through hundreds of hours of video footage of behavioural and interview observations.

Identity Shift: Where Identity Meets Technology in the Networked-Community Age is published by Wiley (ISBN: 978-1-1181-8113-3) and is available immediately through retailers in print and e-book formats. More information on the book can be found at www.theshiftonline.com


About Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU)
Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) is the trusted transformation partner of service providers, enterprises, strategic industries such as defense, energy, healthcare, transportation, and governments worldwide, providing solutions to deliver voice, data and video communication services to end-users. A leader in fixed, mobile and converged broadband networking, IP and optics technologies, applications and services, Alcatel-Lucent leverages the unrivalled technical and scientific expertise of Bell Labs, one of the largest innovation powerhouses in the communications industry. With operations in more than 130 countries and the most experienced global services organization in the industry, Alcatel-Lucent is a local partner with a global reach. Alcatel-Lucent achieved revenues of Euro 15.2 billion in 2009 and is incorporated in France, with executive offices located in Paris. For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on the Internet: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/blog and follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Alcatel_Lucent.


For more information, visit Alcatel-Lucent on: http://www.alcatel-lucent.com, read the latest posts on the Alcatel-Lucent blog http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/blog and follow the Company on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Alcatel_Lucent


About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 450 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.

Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com. The Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb.

See More

Related Titles

Back to Top