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Author(s): Suzana Marković Krstić, Miloš Jovanović
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Институт за социолошки и политичко-правни истражувања
Keywords: Identities; Historicity; Social Constructionism

Summary/Abstract: The paper deals with the theory of identity which was elaborated by a British sociologist and historian Jeffrey Weeks in his book Invented Moralities – Sexual Values in an Age of Uncertainty (1995). Although he primarily discusses sexual identities, his view can be applied in considerations of other types of identity – ethnic, national, religious, class, status, racial, gender, generational, geographical, political in the narrow sense and so forth. As a part of his larger project of radical humanism, which puts the spotlight on individual freedom and celebrates the rich diversity of human goals whilst affirming the importance of solidarity among people, Weeks discusses identities as necessary fictions – complex, hybrid, heterogeneous and historical social constructions. If they are asserted too firmly, there are dangers of fixing identifications and values that are (always and necessarily) in flux; yet if their validity is denied, there is an even greater danger of disempowering individuals and groups from the best means of mobilizing for social change. Weeks (following Foucault) pleads for a move towards the research of the forms of social relations that would allow our identities to take on more fluid meanings, which would enable the actors to take a more enlightened, conscious and critical look at themselves and at those with whom they come into a variety of interactions. The last part of the paper examines the possibilities and scope of Weeks’ conception in the study of post-socialist societies in transition.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 419-430
  • Page Count: 12
  • Language: English