Re: Fwd: Fwd: [xmca] Vygotsky on Identity?

From: Paul Dillon <phd_crit_think who-is-at>
Date: Sat Nov 24 2007 - 00:24:59 PST

  I think you're confusing identity with reflective authenticity, something quite rare in this world.

Andy Blunden <> wrote:
  It does seem to me that LSV's understanding of "personality" is very close
to what we might call "identity" and his approach is not dissimilar to
Mead's approach to the Self, too. But as Boris indicates, the concept is
not made an "independent subject of thought" but rather peripheral, which
is not surprising given what we have seen.

Re Paul's observation: of course people have an identity whether or not
there is a social "identity crisis" making the idea a part of popular
psychology. But for example, while I said that Aristotle did not know the
problem, his approach was the you were an Athenian, or a Spartan, or
whatever; one's identity was one's city. In many societies including
today's, identity is in that sense not problematic and unquestioned within
a certain social setting and therefore escapes attention. While there is of
course a sense in which identity is imposed by others, the whole point is
that it comes to be voluntarily adopted or learnt; it becomes problematic
only when it an individual is for one reason or another unable or unwilling
to voluntarily put on the imposed mask, yes? When *everyone* you know or
have heard of stands with pride at the sound of the Star Spangled Banner
then being an American is not part of any identity problem (no such time
ever existed of course); only when some brave soul refuses to stand do we
discover this as an element of identity. yes?

At 10:56 AM 23/11/2007 -0800, mike wrote:
> >
> > Apparently, those who believe that the problem of identity, identification,
> > self determination were not independent subjects of thought and
> > investigation by LSV are correct. I can only propos a few of his statements
> > on the development of personality and self consciousness (this connection
> > Vygotsky clearly did describe)
> >
> > "the difference between child and adolescent may be best expressed by
> > Hegel's position that distinguished things in themselves and things for
> > oneself. He said that the all things are initially in themselves, but
> > matters do not stop at this point and in the process of development the
> > thing turns into a thing for onself. Thus, he said, a person (man) in
> > himself is a child, whose task is to leave behind that abstract and
> > undeveloped "in himself" and in so doing, in order to become for himself in
> > a way that he is in the meantime only in himself, that is, to become a free
> > and intelligent being. This very transformation of the child into an adult
> > (man) in himself in the adolescent -- a person (man) for himself--
> > constitutes the major content of the entire crisis of this transitional
> age.
> > It is an epoch of the maturation of personality and world view (Pedology of
> > the Adolescent, Comp Works, v4, p. 199)
> >
> > Personality becomes for itself, when it has previously been
> in itself, through what it
> > manifests through others (History of Dev of HPF, Coll. Works, Vol 3, p.
> 144)
> >
> > The following addition from same work is very important:
> >
> > James Baldwin correctly noted that the concept of "I" develops in a child
> > from the concept of others. The concept, personality, that is, the social,
> > reflected, concept, is built on the basis of the fact that the child
> uses in
> > relationship to himself those means of adaptation which he uses in
> > relationship to others. This is why it is possible to say that personality
> > is the social in us. (vol 3, p. 324)
> >
> From Varshava and Vygotsky (1931) *Psychological Dictionary*:
> >
> > Identification (Freud) - the equating, making similar, of oneself to
> another
> > personality, the adoption by oneself of the characteristics of a specific
> > person. Identification plays a huge role in reminisences, dreams and
> > creativity. The psychological sense of identification comes down to the
> > widening of one's circle of experiences (perezhivania), to the
> enrichment of
> > innner life.
> >
> > Personality is a term indicating a unity in the indivualenss of all
> everyday
> > life and psychological manifestation of persons; a person (man) accepting
> > himself as a certain individual unity and entity in all processes of change
> > that take place in the organism and the psyche - this is personality.
> > Disease of personality is expressed in the disintegration of this unity.
> >
> > And also:
> > In *Psychology of Art *in the chapter on Hamlet Vygotsky accentuates the
> > concept, "second birth." In the works of AN Leontiev one also encounters
> > this term in connection with the development of self-consciousness during
> > adolescence.

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Received on Sat Nov 24 00:27 PST 2007

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