Saturday, March 30, 2013

Foucalt's Notion Of Identity

“Foucault’s notion of identity resides within one’s actions and interactions with others. It is EVER-CHANGING and defined in a historical moment.”
What are you Mr. Foucalt, a behaviorist?  Are you BFFs with B.F. Skinner?  Are our identities based solely on our actions and interactions with others?  What about our motivations, histories, beliefs?  Isn’t this a bit of a third-person point of view, minus the omniscience? 
I would hate for my personality to be based solely off my actions.  I do not want to only be considered a student, or someone who values their schoolwork over people (which is what my life shows I do).  I want outsiders to understand why I go to school--to prepare for a career that will help people! 

And I wouldn’t want someone assume whom I love most in my life based on how often I interact with them.  The people I love most are busy, and sometimes I’m afraid of bothering them too much…I know my parents love me, but I don’t think they want to hear from me every day. 

<---My dad, telling me to stop calling.

According to Foucalt, our identities are ever-changing.  If we base our identities off our actions only, and maybe our words, our identities would obviously change because we would contradict the judgments and assumptions made by an outsider.
For example—a parent smacks their child when the child misbehaves.  We could assume that the parent is an intolerant tyrant.  But then we see the parent cuddling the child, and we think the parent is a loving person.  How could we combine these two different behaviors of the parent without knowing his motivation, and without changing his identity? Maybe this is a shallow example, but my point is that we can’t understand who someone is without knowing what’s inside their head, instead of only looking at what they do and say.

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