Stranger as a factor in creating of person's social identity (tradition of phenomenological sociology)
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social identity, Stranger, Other, structure of social identity, phenomenological sociology

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Shevchenko, Z. (2018). Stranger as a factor in creating of person’s social identity (tradition of phenomenological sociology). Multiversum. Philosophical Almanac, (3-4), 19-31.


The article reveals the significance of the analysis of the phenomenon of a stranger for the study of social identity of the individual. A modern study of the topic of social identity is impossible without taking into account the experience of the phenomenological tradition of determining the semantic grounds for such an identity. Bernhard Waldenfels emphasizes the fundamental impossibility of fixing certain characteristics of Stranger, emphasizes the communicative, reciprocal character of the definition of Stranger. He views responsiveness as a principled disposition to the response inherent in each person, as a universal way of being human in the world - only with other people, that is, in the common world. The author notes that for Waldenfels neither the intentional experience in classical transcendental phe-nomenology nor the communicative projects of analytical philosophy are capable of approaching the understanding of "alien" as "alien". Within these approaches, the "alien" manifests itself, respectively, as a somewhat-yet-not-clear and as an "exception in the rule system", ie a regulated deviation from the rule. Alfred Schutz reveals the structural nature of the assertion of social identity, develops the idea of grading the closeness and distance of others around us in the world of life. It structures social identity through the way it is formed, differentiating between "we", "you", "they", contemporaries, predecessors, descendants, and more. The semantic structure of social identity defines the type of social ties in which the person is involved – first of all, the degree of approaching of the Other, which can range from a close friend to a Stranger. Therefore, the author concludes that, according to Schütz, in these different relationships we tend to receive a somewhat different social identity, but to a different extent. All these varieties of social identity are indispensable components of the structure of our own identity – as a basis for meaningful differentiation that allows differentiation of our social behavior.
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