Postmodern View of Identity

Foucault and Lacan have inspired the postmodern view of identity by questioning: 

  • What are the boundaries of the self?
  • Can you tell the difference between private/public or inner/outer selves?
  • Can the image of the unified self be replaced by a more surface-oriented model?

These ideas have led me to think in more depth about the relationship between Alison and Andie. (Though remember that Alison is not real, she’s just a representation of Andie’s mind). So, with that in mind, Alison is like Andie’s barrier. Alison prevents Andie from behaving in a civilised way.

At work, Andie is very reserved and doesn’t like to express emotion, for fear of appearing weak. Therefore that is one of the reasons she hides in the toilet- because the stress and emotions were too much for her. At home, Andie is finally able to be on her own and so she can let out her true emotions. A productive outcome from this is she tries to express her emotions by painting. Other times, she’s counterintuitive, and cries and has outbursts of anger, spurred on by Alison.

With regards to the final question that Foucault and Lacan have posed, I believe that there isn’t one singular self. I believe that there are multiple layers of self. In society, there are public and private selves; depending on the situation we encounter. Individually, each person has lots of different multitudes of self that take form when experiencing different emotions; for example when excited or bored.

 

References:

  1. Bancroft, A., Rogers, S. and Stapley, P. (2010). Identity And Embodiment – Foucault For Beginners. [online] Cardiff.ac.uk. Available at: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/socsi/undergraduate/introsoc/identity1.html [Accessed 7 Feb 2017].
  2. Vanheule, S. (2011). Lacan’s Construction and Deconstruction of the Double-Mirror Device. Frontiers in Psychology, 2.
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