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The cosmopolitan self vs the endurance self

I like this contrast drawn by Arlie Hochschild on loc 2780-2795 of Strangers In Their Own Land:

Not only her values, but even the kind of self she proudly exhibited—an endurance self—seemed to need defending, because it too seemed to be going out of fashion along with all the blue-collar jobs. “They used to brag on my dad at the plant that he was so reliable and steady.” Janice tells me proudly. But what did that count for anymore? Like her father and uncle, Harold Areno, Janice feels proud to have a rooted self, a self based in a busy, dense, stable community of relatives, co-parishioners, and friends. A newer cosmopolitan self, one that seemed uprooted, loosely attached to an immediate community, prepared to know a lot of people just a little bit, a mobile, even migratory self—this seemed to be coming into vogue. Such a self took pride in exposure to a diverse set of moral codes, but did a person with that kind of self end up thinking “anything goes”? It was frightening. It was wrong. And Janice was having none of it.

However I think it’s important to recognise how social media could buttress the endurance self, facilitating the experience of that embedding in the absence of face-to-face reality, something likely to become more important as the social conditions liable to generate such an experience of continuity erode yet further. How would/does this mediated endurance self differ from the situated endurance self?

Categories: Algorithmic Authoritarianism and Digital Repression Communicative Escalation and Cultural Abundance: How Do We Cope? Philosophy of Technology Thinking

Mark

2 replies

  1. I think that is an important question. They might differ greatly in the obligations generated and practised, the ‘taking the role of the other’ and being able to reach out and meet another’s needs before they find themselves in need or in trouble. The situated has always been stitched together by reciprocity. Do we know yet if and how reciprocity forms any part of mediated endurance self?

  2. And there’s a risk of falling into seeing ‘offline’ and ‘online’ as distinct: what about when interaction through one reinforces interaction through the other?

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