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

Yes, I think so. I don't deny the reality of identity, or that self-identity is a powerful determinate of activity. The point is whether and at what depth identity is explanatory. If I say "I am a socialist" I would find an explanation of this to be quite fatuous that went along the lines of me having a need to express my identity and finding that using the words and symbols of socialism and attending socialist events fulfilled that need. Likewise, to explain my affection for my partner and the effort I put it to look after her in terms of my need to maintain my identity as a member of this family or as a carer, equally facile. I think the causal connections run in the other direction.


Andy Blunden
http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 10:57 AM, Stephen Walsh <stephenwals@gmail.com <mailto:stephenwals@gmail.com>> wrote:

    I may have to get a coffee and put my thinking cap on
    a little tighter   :)
    Is the impulse (or drive) that was evidenced in the
    minimal group experiments to favour our ingroup the
    same impulse that drives us to give and accept social
    support?  I think it may be.

    On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 10:49 AM, Andy Blunden
    <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:

        That sounds good, Stephen, but I don't see any
        "drive to express identity" in there. I do think
        there is a drive to form and preserve social
        bonds, but this is not the *expression* of
        affiliative identity; perhaps the source of
        "affiliative identity," and the objective basis
        for an imposed identity (as opposed to a
        self-identity), but not something created by a
        desire or drive to express a pre-existing identity.



        Andy Blunden

        On 15/02/2017 9:36 PM, Stephen Walsh wrote:

            Hi Andy,
            I think that the answer is both.  I think we
            need to think of identities as heterogeneous
            rather than homogeneous. Looking at identity
            (dis)continuity following brain injury is
            instructive. Research we have conducted with
            brain injury survivors taking part in post
            acute community neurorehabilitiation shows
            that identities deriving from the groups we
            belong to (affiliative identities; e.g.
            familiy) generate social support which
            facilitates the formation of 'self as doer'
            identities (e.g. painter, walker etc etc).
            Best Regards,

            On Wed, Feb 15, 2017 at 7:30 AM, Andy Blunden
            <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
            <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>> wrote:

                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
                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
                no other kind of action) in pursuit of
            needs of all
                kinds (spiritual, social and material) is
                of identity.

                A classic case for analysis is the well-known
                observation that nowadays people purchase
                cars, food, ...) as a means of expressing
                identity. I question this, because it
            presumes that
                there is the innate drive to express one's
                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 Blunden