Re: michal roth's intro; four contradictions and children's play

Date: Sun Oct 10 2004 - 01:06:09 PDT

Concerning what Mike wrote:
> One ardent non-poster on the list has been known to define identity as
> stories
> people tell about themselves. Others (I see a note from Wolff-Michael waiting
> a little down the queue) talk about identities as related to selves and
> still others relate this to individual subjectivities and get unhappy about
> activity theory because it presumably does not allow for analysis of
> individual subjectivities.
In my present research on cultural identity as reflected in literacy and
personal book collections, I have found that people tend to define themselves
in one way but behave de facto in a different way. For example: When asked the
person will define himself as a member of a certain Jewish religious community
but after analyzing his collection I have found core literature of a different
Jewish religeous community. After I asked the person to explain this - the
person would admit that he de facto belonged also to the other community but
this side of him was less concious. My research population are middle aged
adults who have changed their intra-religious affiliation and they tend
conciously to define themselves in terms of their new cultural identity and
ignore their previous identity - but de facto they are still very much
connected to their previous identiy - so after the change they create a kind of
hybrid cultural identity for themselves.
The question is: to what extent can a person's identity be defined "as stories
people tell about themselves" - after all the subconcious also plays a major
role in a person's social and cultural behaviour?


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