Archives for December 2014

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THE PRIMACY OF ROLE

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If roles within any given culture are what mediates our understanding of and construction of our identity, then roles may be understood functionally as a container or compass for each person to orientate their current position.

For example,it is good to know who is the pilot and who is the passenger.  It would also be good to know who is the inmate and who is the guard (some would argue this example). In this case,inmate and passenger are temporary roles unless the inmate has strongly identified himself/herself with this role.

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Which Mask Should One Wear?

bigstock-Surreal-Cubist-Eyes-And-Faces-7736887 (1)We are told to be strong, to keep a stiff upper lip to grieve a loss for a prescribed amount of time, to keep our problems to ourselves, to put on a happy face while simultaneously being told to be open and authentic.

With the myriad of mixed messages about how one should be, which mask one should wear on any given day, it is indeed nothing short of heroic that more of us are not psychotic.

As a result of our genetic makeup, our innate temperament, brain chemistry, i.e. attractors, parental and societal influences, there is much about the construction of our humanness that is beyond our control.

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Roles Are Inseparable from our Identity

 

bigstock-Surreal-Cubist-Eyes-And-Faces-7736887 (1)One’s “role” plays a central place in the social sciences because it is a medium for how and what an individual internalizes in terms of human behavior. It provides a way of “being.” The late Ernest Becker observed that “Identity is inseparable from the role one is assigned … and that “The social environment remains to his death the only source for validating that identity”.[i]

Unfortunately, we become attached to our roles as if they were our core identity instead of realizing that we merely have roles like mother, father, daughter, son, male, female, banker, teacher, student, etc.  Ultimately, at our core we are much, much more than the role that we endure.