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Collapsing self/other positions: identification through differentiation

Gillespie, Alex ORCID: 0000-0002-0162-1269 (2007) Collapsing self/other positions: identification through differentiation. British Journal of Social Psychology, 46 (3). pp. 579-595. ISSN 0144-6665

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Identification Number: 10.1348/014466606X155439


There is a widely recognized tendency for people to positively differentiate Self from Other. The present paper asks: What counter dynamic constrains this othering tendency? A phenomenon, termed identification through differentiation is presented in which the positive differentiation of Self from Other collapses in a moment of identification. This phenomenon is demonstrated and explored using quasi-naturalistic group discussions with tourists in India. Three excerpts are analysed. The first demonstrates a tourist's attempt to positively differentiate him from other tourists. The second demonstrates how such an effort can collapse in a moment of identification with the previously derogated ‘other’ tourists. The third is used to explore how issues of self-presentation complicate identification through differentiation. The discussion uses concepts from Mead (1934) and Ichheiser (1949) in order to theorize about the preconditions, interactional mechanisms and wider applicability of the phenomenon.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2007 The British Psychological Society
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2011 10:57
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 19:03

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