Elective Identities, (Culture, Identization and Integration)
28 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2003
Date Written: 22 2002, 10
Most of contemporary individual and social identities (constructedwith societal, cultural and technological resources) are radicallyautonomous, nomadic and virtual - i.e. they are de-traditionalized,open to negotiation and not based on a single interpretation of atradition. Identizations can be recycled - elements of formeridentities are being re-used in constructing later ones or identitiesemerging in one context can be implanted in another or hybridised - anation state as a model for socio-political identity is a case inpoint (and so is its recent crisis). Values, political, cultural andsocial identities - elective identities of "nomads of the present",often emerging out of new social movements or informal networks - playan important role in determining choices of information codes, imagesand identities. Theories of clashes of civilizations and offundamentalists versus modernists should be seen against thebackground of increasingly complex and successful attempts at globalgovernance and increasing criticism of the ideologies of status quo.They may testify to the success of globalization instead ofdemonstrating its failure. The rise of religious fundamentalism andthe emergence of network types of organization contribute to furtheracceleration of identization processes. "Girotondi della liberta" inBerlusconi's Italy and radical re-evaluation of cosmopolitanism as afamily of images of representation are cases of emergent identizationswith unclear but potentially critical political implications.
Keywords: clash of civilizations, globalism, processual, recycled and virtual identities, fundamentalism
JEL Classification: M, M10, L2, B29
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation