Download e-book for iPad: Constructing Identities: The Social, the Nonhuman and Change by Mike Michael

By Mike Michael

ISBN-10: 0803989520

ISBN-13: 9780803989528

This quantity offers a particular assessment and research of where of social constructionism in social psychology. The author's arguments revolve round key questions: How can social constructionism account for alterations in human identities? In what methods could social constructionism accommodate a job for nonhumans - no matter if technological or `natural' - within the structure of identity?

Michael locates those questions among fresh strategies in social psychology and the hugely influential contributions of actor-network concept, which has come to dominate the sociology of medical knowledge.

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Extra info for Constructing Identities: The Social, the Nonhuman and Change

Example text

But in order to achieve such closure, that is, in order to tell an analytic story, it is also possible to mobilize macro social contexts. Accomplishment, as Bowers points out, can be tied to macrosocial 'entities' such as ideologies and social institutions and structures. Treating discourse analysis as a textual form, there is a multiplicity of ways of 'closing' the analysis, and, indeed, of showing how discourse is located in a contradictory complex of stories/narratives which might or might not attain closure (see also Davies and Harre, 1 990).

Functionality comes not merely to be tied to the person and their impressJi on management concerns, but to social ordering. As such we need to meditate upon what sorts of durability are accomplished, upon the idea that discourse does indeed impact upon others, and upon how those others adopt and reproduce the discourses deployed by accomplished speakers. Sue Widdicombe ( 1 993), in her analysis of the autobiographical talk of two 'goths' as they account for the way that they came to adopt their unconvl�n­ tional appearance, shows how change is represented as taking place independently of the influence of significant others.

Finally, speakers claim that 'change is motivated by a true self which is independent of appearance, but which is expressed through appearance' (p. 1 08). These 'descriptive sequences' are, Widdicombe suggests, 'solutions to a problem of authenticity' such that 'they are designed to address potential and negative inferences that change is motivated by a desire to conform to a particular image, or merely to copy others, and is hence insincere' (p. 1 08). While Widdicombe's chapter is fundamentally interested in the portrayal of authenticity, its prime focus is upon language, that is, the discursive resoun;es that allow for such portrayals.

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Constructing Identities: The Social, the Nonhuman and Change by Mike Michael


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