Authentic role play
a political solution to an existential paradox
Most social roles require role identification from the side of the role occupant, yet whoever identifies him- or herself with his or her social roles thereby mistakes him- or herself for what he or she is not, because role identity is determined by other people's normative expectations, whereas self-identity is self-determined. This paper first develops an interpretation of this existential paradox of role identity, and then suggests a Rousseauvian perspective on how the tension between being oneself and playing one's social roles may be a matter of politics rather than a matter of the metaphysics of selfhood. The paper concludes with a cautionary remark on just how much Jacobinism a political solution to the existential paradox of role identity might entail.
Schmid, H.B. (2017)., Authentic role play: a political solution to an existential paradox, in H. B. Schmid & G. Thonhauser (eds.), From conventionalism to social authenticity, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 261-274.
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