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L'autonomia del sé: l'eredità di Mead e la sua sfida post-moderna
Author/s: Hans Joas 
Year:  2008 Issue: Language: Italian 
Pages:  12 Pg. 45-56 FullText PDF:  153 KB

The Autonomy of the Self: the Meadian Heritage and Its Postmodern Challenge - This paper addresses the question of the relationship between creativity and autonomy originally related to each other in the concept of the self as one of the crucial parts of the Meadian and symbolic interactionist heritage and asks how we should construe this relation today. After a brief reconstruction of the history of the notions of «self» and «identity» the paper takes up the postmodern challenge of these notions by clarifying and partially revising them. It discusses the three aspects of a possibly over-socialized conception of the person (we should not misunderstand intersubjectivity as continual intersubjectivity), the irreducibility of difference between socialized individuals, and the role of power and exclusion in processes of identity formation that can only succeed under dialogical conditions. Violence and exclusion may serve to stabilize identities and to this extent are functional equivalents of dialogical stabilization, but are not on their own able to serve as the basis for identity formation.

Hans Joas, in "SOCIOLOGIA E POLITICHE SOCIALI" 3/2008, pp. 45-56, DOI:


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