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Enigmas of Identity$
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Peter Brooks

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151588

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151588.001.0001

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The Identity Paradigm

The Identity Paradigm

Epilogue The Identity Paradigm
Enigmas of Identity

Peter Brooks

Princeton University Press

This epilogue reflects on the critical importance of the identity paradigm—and especially the identificatory paradigm—in culture. To see the identificatory paradigm at work, in a range of cultural and social contexts—in legal settings and debates, in fictions from low and high culture, in confessional and psychoanalytic discourse—is to bring to attention something characteristic and important about people's lives, singly and collectively. To grasp the predominance and the importance of the identity paradigm is to recognize something ineradicable and significant in culture. The chapter then presents something of a contradiction: the self sees itself from the inside as a place of depth, meaning, and as the center of the universe, whereas the self viewed from the outside is merely the point of intersection of impoverished data.

Keywords:   identity paradigm, identificatory paradigm, culture, self

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