A quote from an article by David Grazian titled “The Production of Popular Music as a Confidence Game: The Case of the Chicago Blues” about the creation of authenticity:

A curious set of concerns develops in settings where patrons seek out cultural forms deemed “authentic,” or naturally indigenous to their locale. In these settings, consumers expect to be entertained by performances that conform to dominant stereotypes of the setting, with attention given to local dialect, styles of interaction, dress and so forth. But in addition, they also expect that these performances will be real, as genuine expressions of self rather than a charade performed merely for the audience’s benefit. As a result, producers face the arduous challenge of meeting a predetermined set of expectations without appearing as though such a feat requires any effort. While few contemporary consumers would be shocked by the revelation that motion pictures rely on tricky camerawork and special effects, or that their favorite actor routinely opts for plastic surgery, audiences rarely suspect that authentic culture and art—populist music, exotic handicrafts, ethnic cuisine—depend on similarly performative strategies of manipulation and impression management.

Via an article on the sociology of the on the Everyday Sociology blog.

The article from MIT Technology Review mentioned in my previous post referenced a paper from Nick Yee & Jeremy Bailenson titled “The Proteus Effect: The Effect of Transformed Self-Representation on Behavior”. The researchers found that appearance of avatars shapes the behaviour of users:

[…] self-representations have a significant and instantaneous impact on our behavior. The appearances of our avatars shape how we interact with others. As we choose our self-representations in virtual environments, our self-representations shape our behaviors in turn. These changes happen not over hours or weeks but within minutes.

A copy of the paper can be found here.