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Collapsing self/other positions: identification through differentiation

Gillespie, Alex (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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Abstract

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
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/%28...
Additional Information: © 2007 The British Psychological Society
Library of Congress subject classification: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Sets: Departments > Social Psychology
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2011 10:57
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/38688/

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