On Ways and Patterns of Thinking
The general theme chosen for our meeting is "Multiple
Identity - What is it? How does it work?"
As this meeting is part of a series of scientific meetings
aimed at throwing some more light on societal situations involving
"Overlapping Cultures and Plural Identities" my contribution
is going to interpret the lead questions in that light.
In order to establish the background of my approach centered
on thinking about identity I first give a quick overview on ways
and patterns of thinking. Secondly, I deal with one central aspect
of identity, the widely shared view that the individual is the
central reference point of his world. Next, I take a structural
look at the life of individuals and of life worlds and discuss
their implications for identity. The last part is devoted to
a summary of the argument and to clarifying some possible misunderstandings
concerning the notion of plural identities of individuals.
1. On Ways and Patterns of Thinking
In the forefront of my interest in the issues raised by our
theme is one subgroup of empirical facts concerning identity,
namely those that are established by the ways in which human
beings in our parts of the world think about identity.
For, as I see it, thinking in terms of identity and thinking
about identity are processes that constitute identity and are,
at the same time, among the main ways how identity works.
Thinking is Dealing Mentally with the World and with
When I use the expressions "patterns of thinking"
and "ways of thinking" I do not refer to "thinking"
as the field artificially restricted to verbal thinking on the
one hand and to conscious thinking on the other, but to the much
wider field of dealing mentally with the world and with one-self.
Mentally dealing with the world and with one-self, as I use
the expression, includes all forms of processing both of incoming
inputs and of accumulated traces of our earlier experiences of
thinking, of feeling, and of acting. This wider
field thus includes all the conscious and non-conscious (including
the unconscious) sequences that constitute human information
Regarding our topic there are "patterns of thinking"
which we label identity and "ways of thinking" which
are built on and around those patterns. Both are types of such
I use the expression "thinking patterns" for relatively
short sequences of thinking. Loosely speaking, anything we consciously
recognize as being this or that is - whether we have a name for
it or not -, and any steering of more or less unconscious everyday
movements involves a thinking pattern.
The expression "ways of thinking" is used as shorthand
for probable ways in which thinking is likely to proceed and
for the cluster of dominant patterns resulting therefrom. Many
aspects enter into establishing ways of thinking. It would take
us too far off our main subject to try and establish even a vague
listing here. What is essential, however, is that any such sequence
becomes part of an individuals way of thinking by repetitive
input, repetitive activation of already available traces, and
by the repetitive processes of dealing with them.
Thus, the expressions "patterns of thinking" and
"ways of thinking" refer to engrained individual behaviour
- thinking being, of course, a kind of behaviour - that results
from manifold interactions of human beings with their social
and natural worlds. Thus, thinking is in most cases a social
and - as a minimum - a socially informed process. (The only exception,
i.e. that someone has lived all his life in total isolation from
other human beings, can be disregarded here.)
Thinking Patterns in Common Use
Another way of saying that thinking is a social process is
to say that most thinking patterns and many ways of thinking,
of feeling, and of acting, are in common use.
But what does "in common use" refer to? It refers
to behaviour of a large number of people, to something which
we have come to call "the same", which we also call
"repetition". Thus, "in common use" implies
diachronous repetition by the same individuals as well as distributed
repetition, synchronous behaviour of various individuals in similar
Common use establishes multiple roots of such patterns and
ways in any individual acting as receiver or as user. Through
these multifold processes these components of thinking processes
become very strong, extremely resilient, and resistant to change.
By being used in similar ways, i.e. by uses resembling each
other without being exactly the same, and by experiencing acceptance
or rejection of reactions to such uses in a wide variety of contexts,
receivers of verbal or bodily messages learn to interpret such
messages based on the similar traces established earlier to which
the traces of the new experiences are added. Thus they can understand
what someone else says or can imagine what his or her next moves
One understands or intuitively knows
what to expect and - as a consequence - one feels secure.
The Past in the Present
Humanity does not live in the present only, it also lives
in the past; and, insofar as the past was, or the present is,
oriented towards or anticipates aspects of future developments,
humanity also lives in the future. But what concerns us here
is the past as part of the present.
Any interaction among human beings and all individual thinking
activates social and individual histories as embodied in habits
and rules of behaviour and their mental aspects.
By involving traces accumulated in earlier experiences of
all interacting individuals - individual and societal memories,
and social artefacts like language, with components handed on
by social learning processes through many centuries - an enormous
number of patterns of thinking and many aspects of ways of thinking
are parts of the past in the present.
Thinking Patterns are Relatively Autonomous
Engrained patterns and ways of thinking are mental artefacts
and relatively autonomous of empirical fact.
One of the fundamental reasons for their autonomy is that
they are parts of the past in the present. Another reason for
their autonomy is given when the traces of past uses of a thinking
pattern establish only rather vague criteria as to which features
have to or may be involved or what configurations of such features
qualify. But there are many more reasons.
The degree of autonomy rises, inter alia, with a growing variety
of experiences to which they are applied and of contexts in which
they are used.
Whenever such entrenched components of thinking processes
come into play - and that is an omnipresent phenomenon - they
exert a shaping, a structuring, influence on the inputs being
processed and on the turns further processing takes. Whether
their influence is decisive or slight - it is there.
What are these thInking Patterns I am Talking of ?
Among types of thinking patterns let me just mention words,
word uses, mental images, representations, metaphors, similes,
'Gestalten', mental schemes, concepts, models; but the many fluid
notions which come and go when our brain is working also belong
They range from the very complex patterns like 'le grands
récits historiques' to the very simple ones, that are
- rightly or, more probably, wrongly - believed to consist of
a very limited number of structural components.
And there are linked schemes, complex configurations of such
components. But it would be wrong to assume that most of these
complex patterns are constructed like chains or assembled like
bricks in a wall. Rather, they merge in a variety of ways, intertwine,
or overlap - based on a complex system of plurifurcations and of feedback loops in
the brain. Wittgenstein has introduced the metaphor of a thread
for the results of such operations, the strength of which »does
not reside in the fact that some one fibre runs through its whole
length, but in the overlapping of many fibres«.
Among the examples of such intertwining combinations we find,
inter alia, the link-merger of the thinking pattern "proprietary
rights over objects" and the thinking pattern "symbol"
producing the pattern "proprietary rights over symbols". Examples bearing on ways of thinking "identity"
will be presented as the argument proceeds.
Thinking Patterns can be Changed
Thinking patterns are neither God-given nor "natural";
rather they are individually and socially established artefacts
Neither are the relations between thinking patterns naturally
given. The establishment of such relations and their change,
the recomposition and re-articulation of thinking patterns, is
what the histories of thought, of artistic and architectural
styles, and many other historical developments consist in. Thus,
the presence, the distribution, and the dominance of thinking
patterns in a population is not "fate".
2. Is the Individual the Nub of his World ?
Turning from this quick sketch of ways and patterns of thinking
to discussing some specific aspects of identity, I shall first
pick out one dimension that plays a central role in ways of thinking
about identity widely spread in Western societies.
The way of thinking I am referring to contains a dominant
aspect which is that the individual is seen as the nub of his
world and, by the same token, of the world as such.
Widely spread and strongly embedded this way of thinking plays
a major role in views that are largely constitutive of
all sorts of centrisms, such as ethno- and groupcentrism; it
shares in such constructs as the strict distinction of the individual
and the social  and is, thus, part and
parcel of strong versions of individualism; and - what concerns
us here - belongs to the implicit assumptions of everyday thinking
about the identities of individuals.
Cognitively this approach is bolstered by a number of - explicit
or implicit - component assumptions which help to make it plausible
that the individual is the nub of his world.
In testing whether these assumptions comply with what one
finds in the world I shall raise and deal with two questions.
Is the Individual the Point Zero of his Perceptional
It is widely assumed that the perception of human beings is
organized in such a way that the individual not only perceives
but constitutes at the same time the central node, or point zero,
of his own system of co-ordinates.
This assumption has been proven wrong, since contrary to that
assumption, perceptual space is not monocentric, i.e. it does
not have a simple system of co-ordinates.
Perceptual space is pluricentric. Phenomena which stand out
due to their shape (or figure) or due to their importance, lead
to centration. The perceiving individual is one - but only one
- among those phenomena attracting attention.
The fallacy involved is (the generalisation of) the unwarranted
identification of the agent of perception with the center of
what is being perceived. The world perceived receives its structure
in relative autonomy from the beholder.
What does the Grammar of Personal Pronouns Imply?
The grammar of the thinking patterns which we call personal
pronouns plays a central role in the historic development of
"Cogito, ergo sum." - In the Cartesian view the
individual is assured of the evidence of his existence by the
act of thinking. "I think" establishes the "I"
as unshakeably given. It follows that only the "I"
is absolutely certain. But is that so ?
Children learn the correct use of "I" and of other
personal pronouns relatively late. That mere fact should suffice
to make us suspicious of any view which holds that something
which is learned late and can be lost under certain conditions
could be the unshakeably given and the absolutely certain.
But what does the correct use of "I", "you"
and "she", "he" or "it" imply ?
Whenever - in a given communication situation - the speaker
changes, the same word refers to a different person. That is
why they have been included in the linguistic category labelled
"shifters" by Roman Jakobson.
In direct speech the word "I" refers to the one
who speaks at the moment.
The fact that someone is capable of exchanging the word "I"
for the pronouns of the second or third person and feeling addressed
by the word "you" clearly establishes that he has learned
to relativize himself and that he has learned to change roles
and is thus capable to participate in the life of the society.
The lesson to be drawn from that insight is that the ability
to handle one's own relativity is a precondition for communication
with others - whether one realizes it or not.
This capability to relativize oneself is well developed. It
is a largely unconscious sequence of thinking that takes quite
different shapes and receives different emphases in differently
interpreted contexts. But it can also get excluded from certain
processes of thinking as, for instance, in cases of the emphatic
"we", in strong forms of empathy, in the behaviour
of the spectators in the football stadium, and many others.
I suggest that this capability may hold the keys to many of
the issues involved in identity and especially to understanding
the development of the largely unnoticed plural identities of
Accepting the Relativity of One's Own Norms and Values
The problem I now turn to has recently been addressed by Ana
Vasquez in relation to trying to understand a society other than
the one in which one has grown up. As she has put it: "In
order to be able to perceive the other culture as such and not
as deviating from one's own one has - first of all - to accept
the relativity of one's own norms and values".[11.]
That is easier said than done. But I suggest that concerning
the relativity of one's own norms and values there are also learning
experiences and, as a consequence, patterns of thinking available
to all of us that stand ready for wider use.
Let me refer, by way of example, to our changing patterns
of behaviour when interacting with people in different positions
in society or in any of our respective worlds, where we employ
different assumptions depending on how we judge the position
of people ("quod licet Jovi non licet bovi"), where
we use different criteria, different sequences of action, different
degrees of politeness, and so on.
Clearly, we have learned to relativize our own norms and values.
But we have not learned to be at ease in relativizing our
own standards, the reasons being that our using divergent values
and norms - wherever it is socially and culturally accepted -
was on the one hand made acceptable by legitimation strategies
(which we have internalized along with the differentiated patterns
of behaviour) and was, on the other hand, shielded from wider
application with the help of a wide variety of emotionally loaded
The resultant ways of thinking make us believe at the same
time that it is normal to apply different norms and values to
(members of) different (groups of) human beings and that it is
totally unacceptable to relativize our own common standards.
Should we not turn those ways of thinking around and learn
to relativize systems of standards (a capability which would
put us in a better position to understand others and to develop
new approaches and standards where the traditional ones are out
of date) and to develop dissonance when we are applying different
values in similar situations to individuals which are all human
beings (in order to learn to treat them all as equals).
3. Our Segmented Worlds and Identity
Finding a metaphor that fits both the situations in which
part identities are built and that can be used for such part
identities in relation to the totality of ways of thinking, of
feeling, and of acting, out of which - through a process of reduction
and cleaning in various ways - we develop what we consider to
be our identity, is a difficult task given the strongly entrenched
dimension of unity supposedly being the main feature of identity.
Thus, I continue to experiment with various notions for this
For the present paper I have chosen to experiment with the
expressions "segmentation" and "segment"
The notion "segmentation" implies processes of grouping
experiences and distinguishing the groups thus established from
other groups in such a way that what is distinguished, marked
or labelled differently, and grouped together still remains part
of that larger field of experiences from which it was originally
The notion "segment" implies that what one talks
of in using this expression is part of a whole, or - when it
is practically cut off from that whole by a strong focussing
of attention on it - it still fits together with the rest of
Identity Changes with Experience
It may be useful to recall at this point that the studies
by E.H. Erikson which helped to establish "identity"
as a central problematique of our time dealt
with the crises of identity in adolescence and with additional
material coming from cases where identity was not normally functioning.
This focus led to a lop-sided study of identity and to myopia
concerning the ways in which non-crisis, non-pathogenic identities
develop, the effects of which still have to be overcome.
Let us, therefore, look at some aspects of the development
of identities under normal conditions.
It is a well accepted fact - at least in everyday thinking
- that individuals undergo change in the course of their lives.
What would, thus, be more plausible than to assume that identity
undergoes changes in parallel to those changes of individuals
- in a constant process where small changes follow small or bigger
changes in an unending, albeit uneven, chain of developments.
Inspite of such everyday knowledge our cultures have accepted
only a very limited number of periods which are thought to be
identity-relevant: childhood, adolescence, and adulthood; only
rather recently have we added the "third generation"
(the elderly). During childhood identity is seen as developing,
during adolescence it is considered as undergoing deep crises,
during adulthood identity is supposed to be well established
as a rather coherent whole undergoing only slight modifications,
The idea of a basically unchanging identity of grown-ups is
impregnated with a dominant pattern of thinking namely that of
homeostasis, a pattern that is very influential in ways of thinking
in many fields. The core of that pattern is the notion of a process
that continuously reproduces the same steady state, such that
any modifications are counterbalanced by other modifications,
with the result that - by and large - nothing
changes. As a consequence of the influence of that dominant pattern
we get an object-like result of the thinking process, i.e. an
What has to be checked, however, is whether the notion thus
established corresponds to the ways in which people see their
Segmentation - Diachronically
In his memoir, François Jacob, professor of cell genetics
at the Collège de France, Nobel laureate in medicine, gives a picture of his own perception of
After stating that he was intrigued by the question how he
became as he was today, he asked in what terms he should define
his life. He asks: "As something continuous ? - As something
permanent ?" And his reply is: "Certainly not! ...
Rather than as something continuous, I see
my life as a sequence of different personalities, almost of foreigners".
The sequence of different personalities begins - in his case
- with the young boy, followed by the youngster,
later by the medical student, the soldier in the French liberation
army, the newcomer at the Institut Pasteur, the professor, ..
"the whole group advancing in Indian file".
"I find it difficult to imagine", Professor Jacob
continues, that "in a roll-call following the call of my
name, François Jacob, all these persons could get up in
the same spirit and reply 'Present'".
What Professor Jacob describes here is a clear case of diachronic
segmentation, a suite of identities, a plurality of identities
over his lifetime. The way he labels his identities he anchors
them in life periods dominated by types of activities carried
out in the framework of specific institutions. From a different
point of view one could also say that they embody different social
It should be noted, however, that periodization is also present
in his account. But his periodization is based not on homeostasis
as such but on important threshold-type changes after which life
as actually lived shows a different configuration in many respects,
a new configuration which dominates life until a new threshold
This account - and many others which anybody can think of
immediately if attention is focussed on people one knows and
the kinds of major changes in life-situations that repeatedly
occur even in small populations - does away with the assumption
that identity remains basically the same over the whole period
Structural Segmentation of Socio-Cultural and Economic
Today's societies are segmented in a hundred-and-one ways.
The emergence of "childhood" and the "troisième
âge" has produced separate sets of rules of behaviour
and of specialised institutions, has created additional subworlds.
But in addition to the worlds related to these diachronic
segmentations in the life of individuals more and more parallel
and partly separated worlds have appeared.
The production of goods and services is carried out in a multitude
of separately institutionalized units. Division of labour abounds
within such units, paralleled by a large number of accepted specialized
professions with very specific kinds of schooling and training.
Division of labour among such units portrays specialisation along
different lines. The geographic structure of the interactive
economic networks has further increased spatial specialisation
and with it a strong differentiation of life situations for people
residing in different spaces. Stimulated by the rapid growth
of cities workplaces have been progressively separated from living
quarters. Partly related to that a private sphere has emerged
separating one's world of work from the rest of one's life.
The catholic church, formerly the universal - and supposedly
uniform - representation of the Christian faith, has contributed
its share to the creation of many other Christian churches, and
religions from other parts of the world are now well established
within our region. The political spectrum is segmented also institutionally
following the introduction of multi-party democracies. An immense
number of private associations catering for all sorts of interests
and leanings is active and constitutes as many subworlds.
Rapid growth of scientific knowledge and of technological
know-how produce a torrent of change in almost all fields of
life. These rapid changes modify the organisational and institutional
structures of society, with new units springing up here or there,
all the time, while some of the older ones crumble and disappear.
Today it has become highly likely that one will have to change
jobs a number of times during one's active life. In today's societies
one is, thus, no longer born into a societal setting, in which
one is likely to remain for one's whole life.
Most of these segments are - at least partly - independent
in a variety of ways.
It follows that the ways one is supposed to behave, the criteria
for success and failure, and a wealth of other formal and informal
rules and expectations vis-à-vis insiders and outsiders
also develop in their own differentiated ways.
It also follows that people who want to establish and remain
in contact with any of those parallel worlds have to develop
the respective registers of behaviour.
Living in Different Worlds in Parallel
Migrants living abroad
The most obvious group of people living in different worlds
in parallel are people who live in countries which are culturally
different from those in which they lived as children.
Let us take as example a family of migrants and let us look
at the contexts through which members of such a family have to
move in the course of a day or of a week - or, more generally,
within rather short periods of everyday life.
Take the school child which is moving back and forth between
the family (in which many of the rules of behaviour of the culture
of origin are followed), the school (which has the society of
the country of immigration as its system of reference and tries
to inculcate its values and habits), the children of its own
age of whatever cultural origin in school and on the playground
(who search for and develop their own version among the various
youth cultures), between strictly laïcistic contexts and
participation in religious rituals, to name but a few of their
Take the often quite different role expectations on male and
female members of families, the gender divisions of tasks, of
status, and of authority that are part of the respective cultures,
all of which are portrayed as the "normal" way to behave
in the different worlds these people are moving in and out every
Any child in that situation undergoing the processes of identity
formation has to abide by the normalities in force in the respective
To anyone who suggests that the identity of such a child,
but also that of the adult members of those families, forms a
coherent whole, I would say: "Try it, and we shall talk
about it again after you have half a year of experience with
that type of life-situation".
It should be stressed, however, that synchronic segmentation
of identities is by no means restricted to people in the especially
difficult situation of living in another culture. The examples
that follow should suffice to demonstrate that.
Identities of workers on the eve of World War I
Everyone will recall the great hope which pervaded the workers'
movement across Europe that they would be able to prevent what
has become World War I.
These people were socialists of different shades - being a
socialist was one of their identities. They were also nationals
of their respective countries - and that was another one of their
They also had additional identities: they were metal workers
or transport workers; they were Catholics, Protestants, or Atheists;
they were Viennese, Londoners, Parisians; and so on. Each one
of these identities contained many tightly interwoven aspects
that others did not.
As long as their identities as socialists and their respective
national identities were different and conflicting but were activated
only in different contexts and at different times, they could
live with both. The problem arose when both should have been
applied at the same time to the same context and they were forced
to choose in an all-out fashion. The
outcome is well-known.
In relation to our topic the question has to be asked whether
the fact that one of the conflicting identities was in shambles
after their hopes had been shattered is a good reason to assume
that these workers only had one identity - and a reasonably coherent
one - rather than quite different multiple identities two of
which were strongly conflicting in that specific historic situation?
Identities in the country-side - before and after the
advent of industrial agriculture
In the European country-side usually referred to as the bulwark
of tradition that sort of phenomenon existed already at a time
when people used to be born into their societal positions which
they could not escape through all their life.
Take the situation of a landlord or a free-hold farmer. He
was the boss of his farm-hands, the boss on his land. But what
happened when he went to church? There, he was no longer the
boss. He was a sinner and had to bow in submission as everyone
Is it really plausible to say that his identity was the same
in those two situations, that he had one coherent identity?
And what about the noblemen in vassalage in feudal times?
Was their situation that different?
Where life situations of individuals are segmented, where
individuals fulfil different roles, where individuals have experienced,
learned, and actually use different registers of behaviour, we
find plural identities. That is the message which these examples
Segmentation is more visible in today's societies than in
those of the middle ages. It is more visible in city cultures
than in the villages of the country-side. But in all those situations
it is also there.
We are astonished to find that individuals have plural
identities. But why?
Should we not be astonished that many social and human scientists
are not able to envisage that individuals have plural identities.
Are they - at the same time - not talking of various roles
of one and the same individual in sociology, of membership in
various organisations and of multiple allegiances in political
sciences and in social psychology, of individuals able to speak
various languages and dialects, of codes and sub-codes in linguistics,
are they not fully aware of the difficulties faced in cooperation
across disciplinary boundaries, are they not fully aware of the
difficulty to create understanding when different universes of
discourse are involved?
But the reason for this divergence is clear. We seem to be
faced with one of the many cases where thinking patterns - being
parts of the past in our present and being largely autonomous
of empirical fact - are so strongly imprinted that we find it
extremely difficult to escape and to reconceptualize our world.
Identity is not a coherent whole - Individuals have
One of the central assumptions concerning identity, I referred
to earlier, is that it forms a rather coherent whole.
But, as I believe to have shown, that is not so. Identities
of individuals are segmented, individuals have plural identities.
But does that reconceptualization of the identity of individuals
imply that the identity of individuals falls into pieces?
No! It is not the identity of individual that falls into pieces;
it is a myth, a thinking pattern, that is being shattered which
led us to assume that identity is a homogenous, non-contradictory,
object-like quality which we possess.
Experiences common to our identities
Does that reconceptualization of the identity of individuals
as plural identities imply that identity consists of separate,
Of course not. Many of our experiences are made in our different
worlds in quite similar ways.
In many instances one can interpret the various experiences
made in our different worlds according to the thinking pattern
"variations on a theme". But as much as variations
on a theme can be part and parcel of the same piece of music,
they can also form a separate one.
Which of the two should be analytically preferred - as far
as identity is concerned - depends on whether they belong to
the same or to a different overall configuration, where belonging
to one or the other depends largely on which transitions from
the presently activated traces of experience are felt to be the
right ones in a given situation.
Moving from one of our identities to another
What happens when we move from one of our worlds to another
is switching from one segment to another. What happens is that
we activate a different cluster of accumulated traces established
in the course of our personal histories - stimulated by context
and by sequences learned in earlier experience - and move from
one of our identities to another.
Thinking patterns related to "identity"
As I have tried to show it matters what patterns of thinking
we activate when we think or talk of identity.
If we link "identity" with notions like unity, coherence,
constancy, permanence, and stability, it gets a monolithic, object-like
character, something which one can possess, leading to a conceptualization
of identity in the singular.
If, on the other hand, we link "identity" with development
(of the personality), change (over time), interaction (with others),
responsiveness and adaptation (to a variety of dissimilar situations
encountered and to evaluations of these situations and of our
responses by others, i.e. to the never-ending processes of calibration),
we end up with plural identities of the individual and with a
notion of identity, of those plural identities, that have a process
character, something which one cannot possess but which is acted
out, which one lives.
I suggest that our world and our experiences are both processes
and segmented - and so is identity.
© Arne Haselbach
approach has been developed in: Arne Haselbach, »Die Wiener
Denkwerkstatt«, in: "Die Wiener Volkshochschulen 1990-1993",
Verband Wiener Volksbildung, Wien 1994, S. 86-88.
should be noted here that the widely held implicit assumption
that "common" or "repetition" implies "identical",
i.e. exactly the same in all aspects and regards, is a dangerous
fallacy responsible for a legion of misleading theories.
sharp distinction between understanding and intuition in common
use does not appear to be warranted by the mental processes involved.
notion "beauty" may serve as an outstanding example
of this type of situation. But there are many terms in the social
sciences and in psychology which also fall into this category.
prefer "plurifurcation" to the better established term
"bifurcation", since the latter creates a misleading
image of how the brain works. The notion "plurifurcation"
has been sketched in: Arne Haselbach, »On the need for
fundamental research in the social sciences - Of notions, their
import, and their transformation«, Introductory paper,
European Meeting of Experts of National Commissions of Unesco
on "Social and social science thinking", Vienna, March
Wittgenstein, »Philosophische Untersuchungen«, Para.
pattern of thinking is bolstering up the notion "intellectual
property" and made it possible to establish the legal subsystems
of "licensing" and "trademarks". Other, and
very negative, cases in point are the role which the 'Vergina
Sun' plays in the conflict between Macedonia and Greece, or the
'Fürstenstein/Knezji kamen' between Slovenia and Carinthia.
strict distinction of "the individual" and "the
social" have become extremely strong and mutually reinforcing
patterns of thinking that are in turn constitutive of many ways
of thinking. They have been strongly criticized by Norbert Elias.
See, inter alia, »Über den Prozeß der Zivilisation«,
questions and the answers given are based on arguments by Elmar
Holenstein in his articles on »Der Nullpunkt der Orientierung
- Die Plazierung des Ich im wahrgenommenen Raum« and »Die
eigenartige Grammatik des Wortes "ich" - Die Plazierung
des Ich in der Rede« republished in his book "Menschliches
Selbstverständnis : Ichbewußtsein - Intersubjektive
Verantwortung - Interkulturelle Verständigung", suhrkamp,
Roman Jakobson, »Les embrayeurs, les catégories
verbales et le verbe russe«, [Orig: "Shifters, verbal
categories, and the Russian verb", 1957], in: Roman Jakobson,
»Essais de linguistique générale«-
tome 1., Ed. Minuit, Paris 1963, pp. 176-196
»Pour ce faire, il (elle) doit accepter tout d'abord la
relativité de ses propres normes et valeurs, de façon
d'être capable de percevoir la culture de l'autre en tant
que telle et non pas en tant que déviation par rapport
à sa culture propre.« (Vasquez et Xavier de Brito
Edmond Marc Lipiansky, Isabelle Taboada-Leonetti, Ana Vasquez,
»Introduction à la problématique de l'identité«
in: »Stratégies identitaires«, PUF, Paris1990,
Norbert Elias labels the result of the influence of this pattern
"Zustandsreduktion" and develops how it works. See
his »Introduction« (added in 1968) in: ELIAS, Norbert,
»Über den Prozeß der Zivilisation«, suhrkamp,
Author of »La logique du vivant« (Gallimard, Paris
1970), a book of which Michel Foucault says: "Le livre de
François Jacob est la plus remarquable histoire de la
biologie qui ait jamais été écrite. Elle
invite aussi à un grand réapprentissage de la pensée."
François Jacob, »La Statue intérieure«,
Ed. Seuil, Paris 1987, p.19
François Jacob, op. cit, p.20
François Jacob, op. cit., p.21
While the factors influencing the decisions would be highly relevant
here I do not discuss them for reasons of space.
[*] Published as: Haselbach, Arne (1994), »On Ways and Patterns of Thinking "Identity"«
in: Novak-Lukanovic, Sonja »The multiple identity: what
is it and how does it work«, European project: "Overlapping
cultures and plural identities/Cultures partielles et identités
multiples", Slovenian National Commission for Unesco and
Institute for Ethnic Studies, Ljubljana 1995, pp. 29-46
ist Mehrfachidentität ? Wie funktioniert sie ? (1994 - Ljubljana)
identity: What it is and how it works (1994 - Ljubljana)