Re: [xmca] Bauman on Identity

From: E. Knutsson <eikn6681 who-is-at>
Date: Sun Nov 25 2007 - 14:30:30 PST

"Identity as such is a modern invention. To say that modernity led to
the ‘disembedding’ of identity, or that it rendered the
identity ‘unencumbered’, is to assert a pleonasm, since at no time did
identity ‘become’ a problem; it was a ‘problem’ from its birth – was born as a
problem (that is, as something one needs do something about – as a task), could
exist only as a problem; it was a problem, and thus ready to be born, precisely
because of that experience of under-determination and free-floatingness which
came to be articulated ex post facto as ‘disembeddedment’. ... One thinks of
identity whenever one is not sure of where one belongs; that is, one is not
sure how to place oneself among the evident variety of behavioural styles and
patterns, and how to make sure that people around would accept this placement
as right and proper, so that both sides would know how to go on in each other’s
presence. ‘Identity’ is a name given to the escape sought from that
uncertainty. Hence ‘identity’, though ostensibly a noun, behaves like a verb,
albeit a strange one to be sized as an attribute of a material entity, identity
has the ontological status of a project and a postulate. ... Identity entered
modern mind and practice dressed from the start as an individual task. It was
up to the individual to find escape from uncertainty. Not for the first and not
for the last time, socially created problems were to be resolved by individual
efforts, and collective maladies healed by private medicine." (Zygmunt
Bauman, “From Pilgrim to Tourist – or a Short History of Identity”; Hall,
Stuart & Paul du Gay (eds.). Questions of Cultural Identity. London: Sage, 1996)

On 2007-11-23, at 20:31, Paul Dillon wrote:
> The citation of James Baldwin, a black homosexual, provides a limit case of
society's imposition of "identity". Things are clearer on the boundaries.
> An earlier post proposed the "identity" is a post-modern occidental
preoccupation but this mistakes language and meta-language. Nobody ever talked
about "oxygen" before Priestley isolated it while looking for de-phlogistinated
> Lacking in identity? Let's see, are you an " atheist, baptist, hindu, or
jew, a buddhist, a catholic, or jain"? Do you cringe, grow enraged, or feel
exhalted upon hearing the "Star Spangled Banner" or the "International"?
> Paul
> Mike Cole <> wrote:
> In red below is my attempt at translation of a note from Boris Mescheryakov
> re identity and personality in LSV. Boris, whose work you can read in the
> Companion to Vygotsky and elsewhere
> was kind enough to look up relevant passages from LSV. I probably have not
> done the translation justice, but most all of this exists in English and
> others more knowledgeable of Russian
> can straighten things out.
> It appears were are dealing with issues that are not usefully reduced to
> either or....... again.
> mike
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Boris Meshcheryakov <>
> Date: Nov 23, 2007 12:01 AM
> Subject: Re: Fwd: [xmca] Vygotsky on Identity?
> To: Mike Cole
> Здравствуй, Mike.
> По-видимому, правы те, кто считает, что
проблема идентичности,
> идентификации, самоопределения (са
модетерминации) не были самостоятельным
> предметом размышлений и исследований
Выготского. Могу лишь предложить
> некоторые его высказывания о развитии
личности и самосознании (эту связь
> Выготский четко описывал):
> 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)
> «...отличие ребенка от подростка может
быть лучше всего выражено положением
> Гегеля, который различал вещи в себе и
вещи для себя. Он говорил, что все
> вещи суть сначала в себе, но на этом дело
не останавливается и в процессе
> развития вещь превращается в вещь для
себя. Так, говорил он, человек в себе
> есть ребенок, задача которого состоит не в
том, чтобы оставаться в этом
> абстрактном и неразвитом "в себе", а в том,
чтобы стать также и для себя
> тем, чем он пока есть лишь в себе, именно
стать свободным и разумным
> существом. Вот это превращение ребенка из
человека в себе в подростка –
> человека для себя – и составляет главное
содержание всего кризиса
> переходного возраста. Ð&shy;то есть эпоха
созревания личности и мировоззрения...»
> (Педология подростка, Собр. соч., т. 4, с. 199).
> "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)
> "Личность становится для себя тем, что она
есть в себе, через то, что она
> предъявляет для других. Ð&shy;то и есть
процесс становления личности" (История
> развития ВПФ, Собр. соч., т. 3, с. 144). (A) 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)
> Очень важное добавление из "Истории ра
звития ВПФ": "The following addition
> from same work is very important:
> «Дж. Болдуин справедливо отметил, что
понятие о "я" развивается у ребенка из
> понятия о других. Понятие «личность» есть,
т.о., социальное, отраженное
> понятие, строящееся на основе того, что
ребенок применяет по отношению к
> самому себе те приемы приспособления,
которые он применяет по отношению к
> другим. Вот почему можно сказать, что
личность есть социальное в нас» (т.
> 3, с. 324/ жирн. шрифт мой – Б.М.).
> 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)
> Из "Психологического словаря" Варшавы и
Выготского (1931) From Varshava and
> Vygotsky (1931) *Psychological Dictionary*:
> "Идентификация (Фрейд) - отождествление,
уподобление себя другой личности,
> приписывание себе признаков
определенного человека. Идентификация игра
> огромную роль в сновидениях, в творчестве,
в мечтах. Психологический смысл
> И. сводится к расширению круга пережива
ний, к обогащению внутреннего
> опыта".
> 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.
> "Личность - термин, означающий единство и
индивидуальность всех жизненных и
> психологических проявлений человека;
человек, сознающий сам себя как
> определенное индивидуальное единство и
тождество во всех процессах
> изменения, происходящих в организме и
психике, есть личность. Болезнь Л.
> выражается в распаде этого единства"
> 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.
> И еще: В "Психологии искусства" в главе о "Га
млете" Выготский акцентирует
> понятие "второго рождения" . В работах А.Н.
Леонтьева тоже встречается этот
> термин в связи с развитием самосознания в
подростковом возрасте. 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 selfconsciousness during
> adolescence.
> --
> С уважением,
> Б.М.
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Received on Sun Nov 25 14:31 PST 2007

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