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[Xmca-l] Re: identity expressed or formed by action?



Dear Andy,

Interestingly, I had a very similar discussion with some colleagues
recently not on identity but on... waste. The perspective of one of our
students was that investigating what waste is can be done via interviews,
in order to understand how we decide what to through away. I was arguing
that waste is not fully defined before action, but that waste is what we
through away. The action of throwing away is formative of what count as
"waste".
I thought it might help to step back for one second from the tricky
question of self-identity and considering more concrete, everyday
activities before coming back to it...
Best
LK


2017-02-15 8:30 GMT+01:00 Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>:

> I would be interested in any helpful comments (other than suggestions for
> more books to read) from my xmca psychologist friends on this problem.
>
> In discussion with a friend, who is very au fait with contemporary social
> philosophy, but knows nothing of CHAT, suggested to me a number of ideas
> intended to be explanatory (rather than descriptive) of current social and
> political trends. He talks about the rise of "expressive authenticity"
> since the 1970s and "collective action as a means to express selfhood." In
> response, I questioned whether there is any such thing as a drive to
> *express* one's identity, and that rather, collective action (and there is
> fundamentally no other kind of action) in pursuit of needs of all kinds
> (spiritual, social and material) is *formative* of identity.
>
> A classic case for analysis is the well-known observation that nowadays
> people purchase (clothes, cars, food, ...) as a means of expressing their
> identity. I question this, because it presumes that there is the innate
> drive to express one's identity, which I see no evidence for. I think
> people adopt dress styles in much the same way that people carry flags - to
> promote a movement they think positive and to gain social acceptance in it.
> Identity-formation is a *result* not a cause of this.
>
> So, am I wrong? Is identity formation a result or a cause of activity?
>
> Andy
>
>
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden
> http://home.mira.net/~andy
> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>