The Self Symposium
In social science and philosophy, there is increasing awareness of the importance of the politics of self and identity. Many contemporary social conflicts do not primarily concern material assets or power relations as such, but rather revolve around recognition of individual and social identities: whether or not the socio-political processes acknowledge the intrinsic value of social and individual identities in terms of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation etc.
This symposium is an interdisciplinary exploration of self and identity. Scholars from humanities, social sciences, biology and psychology will search common grounds in understanding human self-experiences. One line of research that will be addressed is Social Identity Theory. Social identity is the part of an individual’s sense of who they are based on experienced membership in various social groups. Social Identity Theory predicts an individual’s behaviour on the base of group memberships and the legitimacy and stability of the membership.
Another key research line of the symposium will involve the intertwinement of self and interaction. In his seminal work, Erving Goffman suggested that self-image is involved in all social interaction. Participants in all social encounters make direct and indirect claims regarding who and what they are; these self-images need continuous reworking and protection.
The symposium will provide the participants with an up-to-date understanding of the many faces of the self and identity research. Classical theoretical questions will meet contemporary empirical research in various disciplines.
All times are in Finnish time (EET, UTC+2).
Thursday 11 November 2021
14.00 – 14.15: OPENING REMARKS – Mikko Sams and Anssi Peräkylä
14.15 – 15.00: Historical and cultural variation in the self – Ulrike Steinert, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany
15.00 – 15.45: How Recognition from Others shapes The Self – Arto Laitinen, University of Tampere, Finland
15.45 – 16.45: 1 hour Break
16.45 – 17.30: The (Group) Self in (Collective) Action: On the special relationship between social identity and morality in the context of activism and social change – Martijn Van Zomeren, University of Gröningen, The Netherlands
17.30 – 18.15: The self in infancy and beyond – Philippe Rochat, Emory University, USA
18.15 – 18.30: 15 min Break
18.30 – 19.15: Threats to the self in social interaction – Anssi Peräkylä, University of Helsinki, Finland
Friday 12 November 2021
12.00 – 12.45: The socially distributed self – Dan Zahavi, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
12.45 – 13.30: Taking the pulse of social cognition : interoception, self-awareness and alteroception – Mano Tsakiris, University of London, UK
13.30 – 14.30: 1 hour Break
14.30 – 15.15: Agency, territories, and boundaries of the self in joint decision making – Melisa Stevanovic, Tampere University, Finland
15.15 – 16.00: Invoking the biographical self as therapist’s resource in psychodynamic
therapy – Arnulf Deppermann, Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache, Germany
16.00 – 16.15: 15 min Break
16.15 – 17.00: Disturbances of self in Personality Disorders – Elsa Ronningstam, Harvard Medical School, USA
17.00 – 18.00: Concluding and critical notes on self – Henrik Enckell, PhD, Docent, Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice