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Dr. Daria Bahtina: Self and other: Perception and construction of group boundaries hands-on & minds-on workshop

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Integration conference "My home, our home: what unites us in a multicultural community" on 15th and 16th November in Tallinn, Estonia. Conference webpage: www.integrationconference.ee

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Dr. Daria Bahtina: Self and other: Perception and construction of group boundaries hands-on & minds-on workshop

  1. 1. Self and Other: Perception and construction of group boundaries hands–on & minds–on workshop
  2. 2. Outline Sociology of self and other The Imitation Game Hands–on: can you cross the boundary? Minds–on: import for social cohesion
  3. 3. Other as a mirror SELF is not material — it is performed to and is shaped by OTHERS Goffman 1959 The looking–glass self — we form self–concepts from reactions Cooley 1902 The generalized other — common expectations in a group Mead 1962
  4. 4. Social order ≠ nature of things = product of human activity Berger & Luckman 1966
  5. 5. Social order Externalization – we create cultural objects Objectification – these cultural objects obtain the status of facts Internalization – they become the lens to interpret the world Berger & Luckman 1966
  6. 6. We rely on social order
  7. 7. We rely on social order
  8. 8. Categorization: pros Order and cognitive economy A primary cognitive mechanism for understanding the world Self and other as members of social groups – fundamental to construction of identity
  9. 9. Categorization: cons Reductionism Essentialism Reification Othering à subjectivity More than a narrative: stereotype threat – performance Your examples?
  10. 10. Categorization: more cons Not designed to be accurate Exaggerated in–group similarities, inter–group differences; Self–favoritizm Intersectionality challenging for Us, unthinkable for Them Similar to children: from one role to granularity, perspective of the other
  11. 11. Identity as caleidoscope Roles are subject to mechanisms of relevance 1. Rank: 2. Social network, situational opportunities, audience 3. Need for ID support: challenge à compensation • self–esteem • resources invested • intrinsic and extrinsic rewards 4. Personal characteristics and preferences 5. Consistency
  12. 12. Consistency A: I noticed that all Russians read subtitles when they watch movies B: Oh but I don’t A: This is because you are sort of a non–Russian, that’s why! C: Yeah, get out of here, you are not a true Russian! 5–y–o: I do not want to have children, I want to be a teacher! Ethnic identities with clear boundaries versus reality
  13. 13. Mental schemas Abstract ideas or mental structures that simplify the world Granularity From imagined certainty to acknowledged complexity Participatory practices for mutual understanding Common ground
  14. 14. Imitation Game → Group formation and maintenance Judge – ask Qs to assess belonging Non–pretender – display Pretender – imitate Interactional expertise Collins & Evans 2002
  15. 15. Tunnetko Naapurisi — Know Your Neighbour
  16. 16. Russian speaker from Estonia Judge: How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve? What do you eat and drink, watch on TV and get as a present? 1: The whole family gets together. 2: I eat ’olivie’, drink sparkling wine or A lot of food and noise. Kids are vodka. Watch the Russian president’s happy. There are humorous TV speech at 11pm. Presents are plentiful. shows. People drink sparkling wine and shoot fireworks. Judge’s verdict: Typical of a Russian speaker. Judge’s verdict: Description is too general. A Russian would never say ’noise’ – it’s their natural state of being!
  17. 17. Culture–specific knowledge 12 // 11 Values and norms 12 // 10 Lifestyle and daily activities 6 // 15 Traditions 6 // 8 Mass media, pop culture 5 // 5 Political opinions 8 // 2 Childhood memories and experiences 6 // 2 Other 2 // 0 Topics for judgement by ethnic Estonians // Russian speakers Est/All + Rus + All – All – All + All + All +
  18. 18. Recurrent strategies for judgement epistemic experiential axiological linguistic
  19. 19. Hands–on practice Use your phone Go to www.kahoot.it and enter PIN Guess who is who Take (mental) notes
  20. 20. Find an ethnic Estonian: Q1: Name as many discontinued Estonian bands and artists as you can
  21. 21. Find an ethnic Estonian: Q2: What is your attitude to religion?
  22. 22. Find an ethnic Estonian: Q3: The West wouldn't have achieved its current level without Christian values. Do you agree?
  23. 23. Find an ethnic Estonian: Q4: What sounds does a dog, a chicken, a horse, a pig, and a cat make?
  24. 24. Find a Russian-speaking Estonian: Q5: How do you celebrate Christmas? What kind of gifts do you give?
  25. 25. Find a Russian-speaking Estonian: Q6: What do you think about Kersti Kaljulaid?
  26. 26. Find a Russian-speaking Estonian: Q7: Your opinion on same-sex cohabitation and marriage.
  27. 27. Find a Russian-speaking Estonian: Q8: Where did you go for a party last time?
  28. 28. Correct guesses by audience: 52,07% 47,93% *excludes missed or undecided answers
  29. 29. Correct guesses by audience: Questions about ethnic Estonians: 48% guessed animal sounds 86% religion 31% Questions about Russian Estonians: 38% guessed president & party habits 67% same-sex marriage 20%
  30. 30. Think about reliable strategies for judgement Think about unreliable strategies for judgement Minds–on practice Formulate a question NB! Values-based questions were NOT reliable during our workshop!
  31. 31. Identity relevance 1. Rank: 2. Social network, situational opportunities, audience 3. Need for ID support: challenge à compensation • self–esteem • resources invested • intrinsic and extrinsic rewards 4. Personal characteristics and preferences 5. Consistency Targets for social programs
  32. 32. Your informed guesses?
  33. 33. Imitation Game and Society A distinct social group in Estonia with rigid borders? Yes, unless the ’imitators’ are well–integrated The undistinguishable other: integration, not assimilation Anyone who appreciates our language, customs and values can be an Estonian. Thus, they, as well as we, can consider them Estonian. No multichrome mosaic with monochrome blocks!
  34. 34. Food for Thought Self is a sea boundless and measureless. Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth." The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals. Kahlil Gibran The Prophet
  35. 35. Navitrolla Give me a kiss
  36. 36. Thank you!

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