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Monday, 29 June 2015
Social Identity and Time

Conflict and Identity in Romans: The Social Setting of Paul's Letter,
Philip F. Esler, Fortress Press, 2003, page 22-23

Glynis Breakwell intoduces the concept 'social time'. Esler explains that, social time marks the passage of items over meaningful social change. That means that time records significant social events. The significance, of course, is related to the society - or, more likely, group - for which that social time exists.

One might add that at a group level social time includes the foundation of the group, important early successes or reverses, internal or external threats posed to it at particular points in the past, and even the destiny its members envisage for itself.

Social groups are ongoing processes, with a start, an end and a fluctuating membership as people come and go over time. The group identity changes slowly to reflect its current composition, but continues despite the departure or arrival of individuals within the group.

People see see the groups to whch they belong as being created over time. Our very possession of identities depends on our capacity to relate fragmentary experiences across temporal boundaries ...

... in our minds, we are aware of the present, remember the past and have aspirations for the future ...

A sense of identity - of being oneself - hence necessitates both retroactive memory and proactive memory.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:00am Comment Comments: 0