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

So, in the way ‘she becomes a pollutant as waste’ can a person become ‘an expressive identity’ as a formation of a particular cultural imaginary?

Not a ‘pollutant’ or ‘an expressive identity’ to start with, but becoming a pollutant or an expressive identity.

Sent from my Windows 10 phone

From: R.J.S.Parsons
Sent: February 15, 2017 3:26 AM
To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: identity expressed or formed by action?

The idea of waste leads me to Mary Douglas's Purity and Danger. (One of 
the books that made me grow up.) She discusses what dirt is - matter out 
of place. Then she discusses all sorts of implications. She doesnt' 
discuss the issue of expression vs formation as such, but much of what 
she does discuss bears on it. Menstruation comes to mind. In some 
societies, women having their periods are perceived as dirty, and they 
are seen as untouchable by men. So the way a woman is treated forms in 
her the idea that she is a pollutant, or a carrier. She was not one to 
start with.


On 15/02/2017 10:21, Laure Kloetzer wrote:
> 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