Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Self and Identity have great relevance when we think of ourselves in terms of our political and social identities and their implications. We consciously or unconsciously, adapt to our given identity at various stages of self-development. Self-development can be conceptualized in a variety of ways depending upon which developmental psychologist you refer to i.e. from pre-conventional to conventional to post-conventional (Lawrence Kohlberg), or from egocentric to ethnocentric to world-centric (Jane Loevinger), or from mythic to rational to pluralistic (Gene Gebser) etc. Identity or perhaps more accurately, our current stage of development, influences us in our everyday life choices--choices that can range from mundane to momentous, from love to hate, from peace to war. For instance, religious, national and ethnic identities have been and continue to be major factors behind choices which lead to conflict and violence. But our choices may seem to us as if they were based on reason and “free will” rather than some unconscious or rationalized aspect of our identity. Since identity we are born into is a chance of birth, and every choice we make has a predominant unconscious dimension to it, how can we be sure that our choices are rational and optimal? Murathan Mungan, contemporary Turkish poet asserts that "all types of identities--ethnic, national, religious, sexual--or whatever else, can become your prison after a while. The identity that you stand up for can enslave you and close you to the rest of the world." Do you agree?
Posted by Nomi at Wednesday, October 21, 2009