Identity theory

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Workshop on Religion and Identity - Session one Power Point

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Identity theory

  1. 1. Identity and religion
  2. 2. Describes a process through which people come tocome to know who they are, and seek properrecognition from the actors and institutions aroundthem.
  3. 3. How does religion (as a practice, a category ofrepresentation, and an institutionalized form) help orcomplicate how people see themselves in the modernworld?
  4. 4. EthnicRacialNationalReligiousGenderRegional
  5. 5. -Edmund Leach -Political Systems of Highland Burma, 1959
  6. 6. British court document, 1930 Name of Witness: Hpaka Lung Tseng Race: Lahtawng Kachin (Pawyam, Psuedo-Shan) Age: 79 Religion: Zawti Buddhist Lives at: Man Hkawng, Mong Hko Occupation: Retired Headman Father: Ma La, sometime Duwa of Pao Mo When I was a boy some 70 years ago, the (Shan) Regent Sao Hkam Hseng who then reigned in Mong Mao sent a relative of his Nga Hkam by name, to negotiate an alliance with the Kachins of Mong Hko. After a while Nga Hkam settled down in Pao Mo and later he exchanged nameswith my ancestor Hko So Tli and my grandfather Ma Naw, then Duwas of Pao Mo; after that we became Shans and Buddhists, and prospered greatly and as members of the Hkam clan, whenever we went to Mong Mao we stayed with the regent .......
  7. 7. Signifiers of IdentityGeographylivelihoodReligiongenealogy
  8. 8. Identity categoriesnot always stableinternally diverseexpressions of difference often have a background ofsimilarity
  9. 9. People must differ from each other intelligibly; to create diversity, one has to ensure the existence of similarities against which difference can be made to appear. (Harrison, 2006) Expression of difference requires a shared public
  10. 10. Perennialism Ethnicity is a universal ontological category, however the Constructivism Primordialism content and boundaries of ethnicity are always being re-negotiated Ethnicity is a modern phenomena, a product of Modern ethnic groups have human social interaction, only “real” as far as continuity from the past. Situational Perennialism society supports it. Identity (especially ethnic andnational) is rooted in biological - nations and ethnic groups emerge, change and Modernist Constructivism vanish throughout the course of history, focus oncategories or universal categories Ethnic and national identities are modern boundaries and social interaction phenomenon associated with the era of nation-states like kinship. Barth Smith, Instrumentalist Perennialism Hobsbawm Geertz ethnicity is mostly a tool of social stratification, used to support systems of social stratification HARD SOFT
  11. 11. Son of Sultan Iskandar Syah of Melaka, Sri Muhammad Syah (Raja Tengah)
  12. 12. IssuesProcesses ofclassificationfluidity?scale
  13. 13. “Embodiment” and performance of identityHistory and identity (use and selectivity)MythReligion and ethnic boundaries
  14. 14. Zheng He (Cheng Ho) Nanjing
  15. 15. Merdeka Sunat - Yasmin Ahmad
  16. 16. Ascribed Ethnicity(Primordialist Model) Geertz 1973- ‘primordial corporate The based feelings more traits ETHNIC GROUPS of oneness’ one shares the more CULTURE ethnic (inherited traits one is that people share) purity * Folk theories
  17. 17. CATEGORIES OF religion language INCLUSION EXCLUSION AND particular traditions dressINTERACTION Ethnic categories provide an organizational vessel that may be given varyingamounts of form and content - [ethnicity is] a structuring of interaction which allows the persistence of cultural difference.
  18. 18. It is important to recognize that although ethnic categories take cultural differences into account, we can assume no simple one-to-onerelationship between ethnic units and cultural similarities.The features that are taken into account are not the sum of “objective”difference, but only those which the actors themselves regard as significant. (Barth, 1969:14)
  19. 19. Religion, Identity and the nation-state - 25 March - * State management and intervention in religion, and the definition of religious identities through state apparatus * Politicization and codification of religious identity * The issue of the Chinese in Indonesia
  20. 20. Religion and Tradition 8 April *Colonial period categorizations* The “boundary” between culture and religion *institutional definitions of religion *Questions of conversion
  21. 21. Tourism and Identity 15 April*Representations of cultural identity through tourism *identity and commodification *media and identity *authenticity and world religions
  22. 22. Articles Clifford, James. Identity in Mashpee.Brubaker and Cooper. Beyond Identity. 2000. Smith. History and National Destiny. 2004. Barth. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries.
  23. 23. IDENTITY Analytical CategoryCategory of practice -identity politics - folk theories - discourse
  24. 24. Uses 1. non-instrumental modes of social and political action; actiongoverned by particularistic self understanding rather than universal self interest
  25. 25. Understood as a specifically collective phenomenon, implying a fundamentalsameness among members. This sameness should manifest in solidarity, shared dispositions or consciousness, or collective action
  26. 26. 3. Product of social or political action, the development of a kind of collectiveunderstanding or “groupness” that makes collective action possible. Identity then is both a product of collective action, and a basis for further action.
  27. 27. 5. Something that represents the unstable, multiple, fluctuating and fragmented nature of the contemporary self.
  28. 28. # # 2 and 3 4 and 5 Fundamental reject notions ofsameness (across persons sameness and across time) or continuity
  29. 29. who is doing the identifying? IDENTITY IDENTIFICATIONA Condition A Process Relational - position in a social web or relationship (kinship, patron-client Categorical - membership in a class of persons sharing some categorical attribute (race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation
  30. 30. SELF UNDERSTANDINGPerhaps tacit, may be variable across time and persons. Also makes a distinction about how you identify yourself in and how others identify you Self-Identification Self-representation (explicit) (explicit)

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