The paper proves the assumption that being a worldview of the information society postmodernism simultaneously reverberates its problems, among which is blurring personal identity. The most vulnerable part of the postmodern ideology is the implicit inability to construct steady architecture of identification. This is hampered by specific ideas related to the fundamental principle of postmodernism, i.e. pluralism leading to relativism and the loss of sustainable landmarks. Applying the pluralism principle to the full may result in unlimited choice production, which should not be considered the achievement of the information society and postmodern culture, but its main problem. The social political consequences of tolerance issues and the equivalence of opinions, attitudes and values are discussed. Lack of preferred self-identification vectors reduces the motivation for the individual to develop a stable personal identity. If no paradigm in terms of the truth can claim a given status disputes over claims of significance turn into controversies over power, thereby generating social Darwinism. The principle of pluralism actually legitimizes radical ideologies, whose extreme form is terrorism put in the mosaic and multicultural postmodern world occurs to be one of many sociocultural paradigms. Exactly the identity crisis in the conditions of mass distribution of both military and information technologies is considered the main cause of radicalism as the result of finding pathological forms of cognitive personal identity. Social cultural and worldview crises of the information society are becoming the main cause for producing endurable and irregular forms of personal identity architecture.
Based on the understanding of identity as an individuals identity with the self within the cultural historical chronotope, and experienced as the feeling of belonging/ non-belonging to some communities, controllability/uncontrollability of situations and predictability/non-predictability of events, the paper describes the processes of identity transformation in the course of a technological development. Taken as the initial point, the idea of organ-extension (K. Marx, E. Kapp) and technological extension of man (S. Freud, M. McLuhan) means that technologies are the extension of a human body and its organs. The processes of technological extension assume a particular scale under condition of information society development, within which computer-, telecommunication-, transport-, bio-, nano- and other high technologies have become an actual cultural historical force that has a power to transform a human. Special attention is paid to the fact that unlike the precedent technologies that have just facilitated some or other human performance, modern technologies of information society do not only change the human topology, widen and expand human natural abilities but also really transform higher mental functions and mediate mental processes and relations between human individuals. Man becomes not only a biological and social creature but also a technological one, i.e. so called HOMO TECHNOLOGICUS. The scale and speed of cultural historical changes make the study of the technological extensions role in the transformation of identity a key point for developing ways of comprehending their role in the life of a modern person, and also for forecasting the evolution of relationship between man and machines in the future.
The paper is devoted to the concept of narrative in social psychology. The problem of lack of unity in the understanding and application of this concept in the research methods is discussed. The goal is to systemize the approaches to narrative from the perspective of the identity research. Narrative is a concept that is beginning to be widely used in the study of personality, self-perception, communication, and the study of various social practices; that is why it is necessary to determine which properties of narrative can be applied to the study of identity. The paper performs a review of four most common approaches to the narrative: narrative as a particular mode of thought (J. Bruner), narrative as a metatheoretical paradigm (T. Sarbin), narrative as a life story, narrative as one of discourse genres. The features of the narrative in each approach, as well as the main problems of research are analized. Two criteria of the narrative are discussed: specific temporal structure and transformation criterion. The following features of the concept of narrative in psychology are focused upon: discursive understanding of narrative, the importance of incorporating interactional and cultural contexts within the study of narrative, functional approach to the definition of the narrative. We discuss the potential of the narrative as a psychological construct in the study of identity and define two promising approaches to the narrative: the analysis of separate life events (e.g. turning points and complex actions) and the analysis of narration as a discursive practice and an interactional process which is sensitive to local context and to wider social practices.
The interdisciplinary approach in studies of identity has to employ methods that allow to study and compare the prognostic value of diagnostic criteria of identification which are suggested within the line of various concepts. The objective of this research is to study the steadiness and correlation of identification values according to a number of criteria, and also their relationship to subjective well-being, coping strategies, and also the severity of psychopathology symptoms in subjects without mental illness. The method of Who Am I? by M. Kuhn and T. McPartland was completed by a quantitative Likert scale to which extent each identity is liked (emotional evaluation), is often actualized (significance), is important for the subject (psychological centrality), and is recognized by others (perceived social recognition).
The two samples, psychology students (n1=82) and adult subjects (n2=50), show sufficient consistency of identification values, impossibility to interchange the criteria, and the possibility of reliable calculation of a single indicator coherence/incoherence in evaluations identifications. Positive assessment, psychological centrality and awareness of their identities more often contribute to choosing active behavioural and cognitive coping strategies. The additional consideration of consistency in values results in better prediction of the inclination to positive reformulation, appeal to religion and focus on emotions. Relationship of the importance of identification and depression was mediated by the emotional assessment: frequent thoughts about identification prevented depression only in the subjects with positive emotional evaluation of identity. In general, the use of quantitative assessment allows us to complete the qualitative analysis of identifications by general indicators of subjective experience of identity.
The article examines the relationship between the spread of terrorism and the transformation processes of self-identity in contemporary society. On the example of comparing the post"modern world and fundamentalist ideology shows the contradictory nature of changing patterns of identification.
The nature and meaning of tolerance as a philosophical concept are analysed. Various concepts and theories relating to tolerance, its boundaries, guidelines and its internal content that exist in society from the time of St. Augustine to the present day are highlighted.