Contention on personal identity Essay Example
Contention on personal identity Essay Example

Contention on personal identity Essay Example

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Identity is our kernel, our personality, who we are and the ground why we act the manner we do, but where does this sense of 'being ' come from? Is it within us or in the manner that we are to others? During this essay I 'm traveling to discourse the contention that individuality is something performed instead than an internalised plus. This is basically the difference between traditional societal psychological science and critical societal psychological science. I intend to reason chiefly that individuality is negotiated through societal interaction with others and is hence developed through making instead than as a strictly single map and interior province. I will make this by first sketching the counter statement which infers that individuality is something we have. I will research this position from a traditional societal psychologists perspective with my chief focal point on cognitive ps


ychological science and experimental methods towards individuality. By utilizing Allport 's ( 1968 ) proprium, Erikson 's ( 1968 ) phases of development and Eysenck 's ( 1967 ) theories towards personality I will offer illustrations of how individuality can be cognitively developed within the person. I will so review this position with the station modern theories of Cooley 's looking glass ego, societal constructionism, symbolic interactionism and Goffmans 's ethnomethodology. These four constructs represent sociological options which, although non the cardinal statement against traditional societal psychological science, will give suited ground to doubt its footing for cognition. I will so turn to my chief statement, that the ego is societal, by discoursing critical societal psychological science and in peculiar dianoetic psychological science. By sketching the theory and methods within this subject

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I will demo how discourse analysis promotes individuality as something we do. I will make this with mention, in peculiar, to its development from Potter and Wetherell and Wittgenstein 's rejection of the impression of private linguistic communication. After a brief review of critical societal psychological science I will complete to reason that Identity develops, flourishes and alterations in societal state of affairss that it is non a inactive entity but instead a unstable look and reading of societal norms and how one should move.

To state that individuality is something we have is to propose that it is a possibly unchanging and an internal mechanism of being. Something which we posses and can hence be found, measured and tested on. This suggestion follows the rules of traditional societal psychological science. Traditional societal psychological science is a rationalist position which states that consciousness is a touchable fact which is finally ascertainable through experimental methods. It follows that knowledge is biological and expressed through internal mental provinces. This position holds that personal development occurs through a procedure of cognitive ripening of mental constructions and the integrating of scheme ( Piaget, 1985 ) . Objective cognition in this country of psychological science is ascertained through psychological experimental methods ( Brannigan, 2004 ) . Experimental psychological science is based on the epistemology that behavior is mensurable and is a fact that is out at that place to be discovered and can be recorded. Within this are the beliefs of essentialism, pragmatism and empiricist philosophy. Experimental psychologists will utilize laboratory experiments and controlled observations to come to decisions about behavior and the cognitive processes which lie beneath this outward look

of individuality. The experimental method is easy replicated, makes it possible to associate the cause and consequence of behavior and it can find whether this nexus is legitimate ( Brannigan, 2004 ) . Therefore, in traditional societal psychological science, individuality can be by experimentation discovered as a physical constituent of being and is later something we have. I will now research a few ways in which individuality has been seen as a cognitive development and by experimentation theorised by Allport, Erikson and Eysenck.

Allport describes the proprium as `` all facets of personality that make for a sense of inward integrity '' ( 1968, p. 27 ) . In kernel the proprium is a set of eight parts of internal development that lead to a sense of individuality and being. It is through the right growing of facets such as bodily consciousness, self-importance betterment and defense mechanism mechanisms that self individuality can be acknowledged. Take for illustration defense mechanism mechanisms, originally developed by Freud ( 1937 ) , this is the impression that the subconscious will respond to events and experiences as it sees suited to suit interior demands and reflect this in subsequent behavior. For case, an alky 's subconscious might gull him into denial about his dependence to short-circuit the anxiousness that the realization of dependance might convey about ( Magnavita, 2002 ) . This alteration in behavior to accommodate the balance of the subconscious will alter the individual 's individuality, from the internal to the external. The alky does non alter his behavior in reaction to societal forces which may propose he halt imbibing but instead alterations in reaction to an internal influence.

This illustrates that individuality comes from holding internal cognitive development and a reactive subconscious instead than from external dianoetic control.

Erikson 's ( 1994 ) phases of development is a cognitive developmental theory of the formation of individuality over the lifetime. In eight consecutive stages the person has to favorably negociate an internal crisis which is brought about by alteration as different experiences emerge during growing. When a right result is achieved the person will go on to develop a virtuousness but an wrong result will ensue in some signifier of psychosocial upset ( Koch, Bendicsen, & A ; Palombo, 2009 ) . For illustration, during early adulthood the crisis which arises is intimacy versus isolation, the favorable result being familiarity in which a individual can develop close relationships and a successful calling. Whereas if isolation occurs the person will go distant from society and unable to set up close relationships. At adolescence the crisis presented is identity versus function confusion ; it is at this point where if the favorable result is achieved individuality becomes something the single possess and becomes a inactive internalised entity ( Erikson, 1994 ) . After this point, harmonizing to Erikson ( 1968 ) , individuality is maintained in the person and will hold an influence on the successful dialogue of future phases. This shows that individuality is located within the person as an unchanging world.

The following illustration I will offer from Eysenck gives a familial footing for personality. Eysenck developed the impression of a `` biologically determined ego '' ( Rogers, 2003 ) in which we inherent the qualities that dictate our individuality. This besides means that individuality can

be by experimentation measured on a two dimensional graduated table which places persons as either introvert or extravert and instable or stable ( Eysenck, 1967 ) . This is furthermore a biological attack which states that what class you fall into is based on your nervous system. For illustration extraverts require less motive to arouse them as they are more sensitive to stimulation than people who are considered introverts. An introvert or person who is diffident demands more thrust to come out of their shell and to the full express themselves than an extravert or person who is confident. This is a premier illustration of an experimental societal psychological science theory which perceives individuality as a something we have, something which is measureable and non influenced by societal influences but instead inherited as a biological touchable fact.

Although these theories make wide premises about the ontology of pragmatism they do suggest a plausible description of a cognitive individuality that is separate from and unchanging in the societal universe. Identity in this position is personal and most reassuringly private and internalised, unlike individuality in critical societal psychological science which is seen as strictly public and invariably altering to accommodate the societal universe, giving a limited sense of changeless individualism. However in visible radiation of the unfavorable judgments, which I will now discourse, traditional societal psychological science appears a less believable attack than its antagonists.

The undermentioned four theories criticise traditional societal psychological science in that they offer alternate positions on the manner in which individuality is developed and sustained.

The Looking glass theory as developed by Cooley ( 1902 ) is the theory that individuality is determined by how

we feel that we are being perceived. It is a three portion theory which says that we alter our behavior by conceive ofing how we must look to others, how others must judge us and how that opinion makes us experience ( Cooley, 1968 ) .

Social constructionism ( Gergen & A ; Gergen, 2003 ) states that discourse is where all nonsubjective cognition exists and utilizing discourse to happen this cognition is ineluctable. This means that discourse produces societal phenomena ( Mckinlay & A ; McVittie, 2008 ) . Identity alterations in response to feedback from others and therefore there is a sense of liberty and freedom over who we are and how we behave.

Symbolic interactionism views the ego as unpredictable, dynamic and maintains a sense of spontaneousness. It is through variable function public presentations that are n't stable or inactive that lead people to non hold to act in peculiar ways. Because there are no behavioral outlooks people are free to make their ain functions.

Ethnomethodology is the theory that people adjust their functions in order to give off the right feeling of themselves. Therefore people 's individualities are formed by the feeling they give. Goffman ( 1956 ) developed this theory by explicating that we have function control and have the ability to demo changing grades of committedness to certain functions.

With these four theories in head we can see that biological determinism is non a unequivocal facet of individuality. Furthermore, behavior can alter dependent on the person and can non, hence, be experimented on to infer decisions about all behaviors like in experimental methods, because it is n't changeless or cosmopolitan. Under these theories

the ego ne'er stops altering and it should non be predicted but instead understood in general life. In add-on it is individualistic, such that there is no generalized regulation of cognitive development towards a peculiar individuality or biological outlook, but instead each individual has a socially determined hereafter. Cooley states that `` to believe of it ( the I ) as apart from society is a tangible absurdness '' ( 1968, p. 89 ) , this infers that individuality flourishes in interaction, non that it is bound in knowledge.

I will now turn to my chief statement of dianoetic psychological science which expresses that individuality is something we do.

Discourse analysis evolved from a crisis in societal psychological science when traditionally held positions of positivism were being questioned. This crisis lead to a critical societal psychological science which did n't follow the premises that experimental and cognitive attacks were based on, alternatively it materialized from unfavorable judgments of these attacks into a station modern societal psychological science ( Wooffitt, 2006 ) . Therefore critical societal psychological science culls traditional cognitivism and argues that societal world is made through interaction, instead than it being an entity which can be discovered through experimentation. Discourse analysis maintains that it is in discourse that psychological activity can be found and that discourse is non merely an look of some concealed knowledge. However it does n't disregard the fact that people do hold a sense of interior experience, it merely does n't follow that what we express externally come from some interior mental procedure. Furthermore it views discourse as a world in itself which has its ain factors for influence on societal

interaction ( Mckinlay & A ; McVittie, 2008 ) . It was an irregular theory at the clip whose constructs were flexible because worlds were no longer seen as objects with biological determinism to be prodded and probed but instead complex persons who must be studied of course. It emphasised a sense of homo bureau which meant that behavior can non be seen to be predictable or mensurable. In add-on it sees the societal construction and discourse as dialectically related, as the societal determines discourse but at the same clip discourse determines the societal ( Fairclough, 2004 ) . For illustration, we listen to and speak about popular music but it 's popular because we listen to it and speak about it. Dianoetic societal psychologists study natural societal interaction, in the signifier of linguistic communication usage, to detect psychological provinces ( Billig, 2001 ) . It argues that there is a map to linguistic communication to build an reading of the universe ; this means there is no changeless history of world as talk varies dependant on the talker and state of affairs ( Potter, 1996 ) . Furthermore talk will change harmonizing to the map is it seeking to execute or the effect it is seeking to convey approximately. What is emphasised in descriptions of an event will change harmonizing to who is listening and the rightness of the information. With this in head we ca n't take anything every bit factual as there is no incontestable cogency ( Potter, 1996 ) and it is this flexibleness in linguistic communication which has become the focal point of discourse analysis. Peoples take what is ``

culturally, historically and ideologically '' ( Billig, 2001 ) available to them, they use what is socially acceptable at the clip in their linguistic communication. But sometimes these socially acceptable systems contain contradictions and this is why discourse analysts are non seeking to detect these societal systems or cosmopolitan patterns but instead expression at dianoetic subjects and typical political orientations. In method, discourse analysis takes what is of course accessible to us, the usage of linguistic communication and surveies it analytically in mundane life. It surveies the linguistic communication patterns we use in order to look at psychological subjects in contexts instead than the persons behaviour in a peculiar scene ( Harre, 1983 ) .

In footings of individuality discourse analysts would hold that it is something we do, such that it is in linguistic communication, societal action and interaction non knowledge. Furthermore, they argue there is non a individual sense of ego to be found, but instead we occupy a assortment of 'selves ' ( Potter, 1996 ) . These scopes of personalities that a individual adopts are socially made and put people in societal places or classs. In add-on people express this classification in discourse and acquire linked with certain groups because of this. For illustration, in a wide stereotype, person might speak enthusiastically about frocks and you might state she is `` speaking like a adult female '' and categorize her as such ( Johnstone, 2002 ) . However people can besides speak in such a manner as to acquire intentionally acquire put in a class, to be associated with a peculiar individuality. Besides a individual can presume a impermanent individuality to suit

in with a certain status of talk ( Davis & A ; Harre, 1990 ) . However, this does non intend that people can do wholly free picks about their dianoetic individuality as individuality must travel in line with what is socially, culturally and historically available. Identity will bind in with societal norms and values, and even if a individual is considered to hold an individuality which goes against societal norms that excluded individuality is still being judged in relation to what is accepted and hence in the same context ( Taylor, 2010 ) . In response to the critical inquiry of the feeling of interior individuality, dianoetic psychological science provinces that while there is a difference between a personal feeling of ego and how your individuality is perceived they are still both socially formulated and hence dianoetic. In drumhead dianoetic psychological science sees individuality as an active and societal building through dianoetic agencies, non as a preset temperament, but through context and classification. Take for illustration, the relationship between a instructor and their pupils. This relationship which is at the nucleus of the educational system is reliant upon there being a consistence in the interaction between the two. The pupil must move in a respectful mode towards the instructor so that the instructor can command and portion cognition with the pupil, it is the stableness of their several individualities of instructor and student, and the look of this in discourse, which allows this to go on. I will now look farther into this construct through the thoughts of Potter and Wetherell and Wittgenstein.

Jonathan Potter and Margaret Wetherell ( 1996 ) in their 1987 book

'Discourse and Social Psychology: beyond attitudes and behavior ' challenged traditional societal psychological science and in bend greatly influenced critical societal psychological science. In peculiar they boldly challenged the position that individuality was inactive and merely a contemplation of an interior mental province that could be by experimentation discovered as `` empirical world '' ( Potter & A ; Wetherell, 1989 ) . Alternatively they saw individuality as a societal building to execute cardinal undertakings, therefore a making property. When we speak of the `` I '' or `` myself '' it is non as an allusion to a mental province or procedure occurrence in the encephalon but as discourse to be analysed in itself. Therefore they theorised that individuality does non be until it is articulated in discourse, by showing yourself you are in that minute making your individuality, it has non been pre-determined in your encephalon, or elsewhere ( Taylor, 2010 ) .In this sense, nil exists until it has been conveyed in discourse. In add-on to this Potter and Wetherell argued that this dianoetic individuality is `` socially manipulated '' ( 1996 ) into societal places and functions. As a consequence each individual 's personality is n't alone, it is simply a representation of a function. This means that a individual is non confined to one function or place ; we can alter our individuality in different scenes, so there is no individual unquestionable ego. Still the footing of individuality from Potter and Wetherell is that it merely through 'doing ' individuality that it is created, whether this is done discourse or the acceptance of functions.

Wittgenstein ( Kripke, 1998 ) argues that

there can be no such thing as private linguistic communication. A linguistic communication which negotiations of things which are merely known to the user where the content is inherently private and the significance of assorted footings is decided by the single entirely, a strictly cognitive linguistic communication. This ca n't be because the conceiver would be unable to set up significances for the assorted footings without mention to cosmopolitan footings, it would be unintelligible. He explains that significance is a societal event that happens between linguistic communication users. Therefore you ca n't hold a private linguistic communication which means anything, because of the absence of other users of the linguistic communication. Furthermore, he brings into treatment the job of linguistic communication games, and the fact that a words intending depends in the linguistic communication game in which it is being used. For illustration `` H2O! '' might be an exclaiming, order, petition or an reply. In add-on these linguistic communication games must partake in certain regulations that conform to the outlooks in the peculiar signifier of life in which 1 is involved. Following a regulation is a societal activity. Wittgenstein besides said that there was a job in the illustration of esthesis. Take for illustration me sing a feeling of 'T ' . If I decide to do a record of every clip I experience 'T ' so there would be a job in the standards for rightness in my thought of what 'T ' is. Such that I may be sing 'T ' right now but it might non be the same 'T ' as I experienced last clip, you can merely hold entree

to current mental provinces, and my memory may be fallible. Therefore for a linguistic communication to be used it must hold some signifier of public standards, you must be able to state I feel 'T ' when... . Etc. There is besides a job with public linguistic communication in the regard that misconstruing can originate. Wittgenstein came up with the metaphor of the beetle. This is the thought that everyone has a matchbox and inside their lucifer box there is some signifier of a beetle, which represents their head. Each individual can see their beetle but no 1 else can. So, by depicting what 's in their box they use the word beetle, nevertheless the word is merely subjective as you merely presume what is in the other individuals box is the same as what 's in yours. This metaphor shows the job of linguistic communication and how misinterpretation can originate. And how when we talk about something it is no longer private and things that are private, we can non speak about. In kernel this means that there can be no such thing as a private individuality, it can non be without public and societal interaction ( Kripke, 1998 ) . If linguistic communication without others is unintelligible so to show your individuality in linguistic communication in any other manner apart from socially would be meaningless. Therefore we must 'do ' individuality in a societal linguistic communication for it to be meaningful, because if it is merely in knowledge and merely something we have internally and in private it is nonmeaningful.

However, discourse analysis does disregard grounds of cognitive procedures which exist without linguistic communication

and the fact of infant knowledge before the assimilation of linguistic communication ( Edwards, 2004 ) . This implies that we can non take discourse to be the lone resource for cognition as there is evidently some signifier of preexistent knowledge. This means it can be argued that individuality may non be strictly something we do ; it may hold a cognitive foundation.

During the class of this essay I have identified the statement that individuality is something we have through traditional societal psychological science. I looked at how cognitivism and experimental methods have theorised individuality as an inner development which can be measured. By looking at work from Allport, Erikson and Eysenck I illustrated how this theory has been practically applied to individuality. I so critiqued this theory with station modern theories towards individuality before traveling on to my chief statement of critical societal psychological science with mention to Potter and Wetherell and Wittgenstein completing with a brief unfavorable judgment of dianoetic psychological science. In decision, to the original inquiry of whether individuality is something we do or something we have it would look that the statement in support of individuality as something we do is stronger than the statement against. From a personal position I besides believe this to be true as individuality does non stay a fixed entity but instead it develops, flourishes and alterations in societal state of affairss. It does non look to be a inactive entity of consciousness but instead invariably accommodating look of an reading of what is socially available to the person.


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