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Group Identity & Social Organisms

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posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 08:33 AM
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"I am a ________ " (fill in the blank).

Anything put into the blank defines what social organism or group you identify yourself with. Examples:

"I am a conspiracy-theorist"

"I am a hip-hop fan"

"I am an atheist"

"I am a christian"

"I am a lesbian"

"I am a conservative"

"I am a liberal"

"I am an artist"

"I am an expert in ____"

"I am a buddhist"

"I am a biker"

+ Billions more.


Depending as what someone defines himself, we can predict with 70% accuracy the persons:

* Clothing

* Speech-Patterns

* Vocabulary & Slogans

* Mannerisms

* Enemies

* Location

* Goals

* Beliefs & Values

* and in some cases even the level of income, life expectancy, and effective ways to approach and communicate with the person.


Questions for Research:

1. What are the benefits of belonging to a social organism? Why do we strive to be part of something and impose artificial definitions on our otherwise unlimited being?

2. What are the disadvantages of taking in a fixed identity too strongly? (Apart from the predictability I pointed out)?

3. Who are we beyond the artificial labels and stereotypes?

4. In which way could it be fun to change ones group-identification once in awhile?

And most importantly:

5. Which subcultures, social organisms, groups, cults seem to be artificially engineered for the purpose of controlling humans?




posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 08:37 AM
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Is this an open note, open book test? Can we work in groups?


Good post though, I look forward to reading the responses.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 08:45 AM
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I am a iconoclast?


What does that tell you?


edit: I've already changed my mind!!

[edit on 19-8-2008 by whaaa]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by whaaa
I am a iconoclast?


What does that tell you?


edit: I've already changed my mind!!

[edit on 19-8-2008 by whaaa]


I was just getting ready to reply to "I am a lover"...that would have been a tough one because it doesnt seem as artificial as the examples I posted.

In fact...you not only captured an identity-definition that is not a group identity but also one that is probably native to humans. "I am a lover". Nice one.

As for iconoclast...good one. Let me ponder that.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 09:33 AM
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It's been my observation that people also tend to choose from groups available to them in their environment and rarely something completely different. Is it due to lack of imagination or the intense need to "fit" somewhere? I'm not entirely sure of the answer but I bet it has it's origins in the pre-teen years.

And just to fill in the blank - I am: one of a kind.

[edit on 19/8/2008 by kosmicjack]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 11:17 AM
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I'm a parent

I'm a lover

I'm a scientist

I'm a teacher

I'm a student

I'm a psychonaut

I'm a humanist

I'm a 'liberal'

I'm a music lover

I'm a Liverpool FC supporter

I'm a food-lover

I'm an atheist

I'll try to answer some of the rest later. But the group tendency in humans is, as you would expect from me SF, a result of our evolutionary history and the optimal approach for survival and reproduction. Has some negative outcomes, of course (e.g., ingroup/outgroup). Social categorisation is a pretty natural process for us, simplifies a very complex world.

[edit on 19-8-2008 by melatonin]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 11:23 AM
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I am a "punk rocker".

haha go for it



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 11:54 AM
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I am a human, with the rest i only have likes and dislikes but i cannot say i AM them.

I am spiritualistically curious (but don't always act like a spiritual monk as some do), i am pacifistically inclined (but can think of reasons to tear someones head off and defecate on it ), i tend to be lazy(but my friends see me as pretty busy when i'm in groups). Being something else than the basic 'human' just restricts your movement and what good does that do?

[edit:] except those things that really just says what you definitly are, like son, father, grandfather, uncle etc etc. You just are those but how you treat being it is up to you.

Nice topic.


[edit on 19-8-2008 by Harman]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 12:49 PM
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I am a mess up

In other words, I'm human.

Group interaction dynamics and the sense of feeling that you belong are an important part of some peoples lives and their social interactions both within and outside the group.
This inevitably shapes perceptions and how others are treated by the group if they are considered an outsider.

Take any management structure and observe the people in it, paying special attention to the group dynamic and the language interaction and you may come to the conclusion that the group exists in order to keep outsiders out - until a person from the outside is promoted to the group, and then initiations take place, from the learning of the hierarchy (and it must be noted that a persons position in the hierarchy is not always dependant on senioroty) to the learning of the language and the socially accepted behavioural parameters within the group.

This can be equally applied to nearly any social group.

This is why gangs, armies and patriotism exist.




posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 12:54 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


Ooohhh this is a good one, Skyfloating.


I am so many things. I am a conservative. I am a student. I am a rolling stone.




Depending as what someone defines himself, we can predict with 70% accuracy the persons...


Can you really? That is so exciting and interesting. If I ask you to do me you'll know what I mean, right?




1. What are the benefits of belonging to a social organism? Why do we strive to be part of something and impose artificial definitions on our otherwise unlimited being?


Humans are social creatures by nature, aside from a few aberrant people among us who prefer their own company to that of others. Belonging to a social organism lets us be fulfilled in a way nothing else can. I don't think that labelling oneself as a particular thing is actually a limit. It's more of a qualifier. It's others' perception of that qualifier that is really the limit. For example, punk rocker and library volunteer don't have to be mutually exclusive.




2. What are the disadvantages of taking in a fixed identity too strongly?


The disadvantage is you start to define yourself as _________ rather than qualifying yourself as ________, which is limiting rather than enriching. If you define yourself as a punk rocker then in your own mind that's all you are and nothing more. It becomes who you are rather than what you do, which is a bad thing. People who do this tend to exclude themselves from groups outside their self imposed identity.




3. Who are we beyond the artificial labels and stereotypes?

Well, IMO labels are only artificial (and negative) if you can't see yourself as existing beyond them. There's nothing wrong with labelling yourself as ______ as long as you don't believe that's the extent of who you are.




4. In which way could it be fun to change ones group-identification once in awhile?


This would force most people outside their comfort zone. They would be forced to defend their views rather than preach to the choir. They would be forced to learn diplomacy and tact when facing the inevitable disagreements. They would learn whether the labels they wear are artificial or not, and whether they imposed them on themselves or played to their audience. And they would hopefully learn life exists outside their clique.




5. Which subcultures, social organisms, groups, cults seem to be artificially engineered for the purpose of controlling humans?


Religions, political parties, brand name cults (mac users and ipod listeners, I'm looking in your general direction), universities, and anything that forces a person to exclude other qualifiers from their existence. For example, you can't be a Jehovah's Witness and a Muslim. You can't be a Republican and a Communist party member. Some people think you can't be smart without a degree or you can't be qualified for a job without a certification. You can't be a true technophile unless you use linux or mac.

And here's a big one. You can be a citizen but not a resident of more than one place. That's a manipulation and limit if I ever saw one. And the reason to invent these labels and limits? Cash, duh. It costs money to define ones self as a trendy, progressive, smart, resident of the hippest neighborhood in town, not to mention change residences or make yourself upwardly mobile.

Thanks for the topic, Skyfloating. I also am looking forward to the responses.

[edit on 8/19/2008 by sc2099]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 01:23 PM
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Oh crap, didn't read it that wel, forgot the questions
.

"1. What are the benefits of belonging to a social organism? Why do we strive to be part of something and impose artificial definitions on our otherwise unlimited being?"

Well, in short; safety in numbers and the feeling that you belong.

"2. What are the disadvantages of taking in a fixed identity too strongly? (Apart from the predictability I pointed out)?"

You said it yourself '[we]impose artificial definitions on our otherwise unlimited being'

"3. Who are we beyond the artificial labels and stereotypes? however we see ourselves as."

Sometimes a selfimposed label or stereotype is used to hide a lack of selfconfidence (not always ofcourse)

"4. In which way could it be fun to change ones group-identification once in awhile?"

To experience the culture and the workings of that group.

And most importantly:

"5. Which subcultures, social organisms, groups, cults seem to be artificially engineered for the purpose of controlling humans?"

The reiligious ones as far as i can see. But just about any group that breeds divisions between each other controls the human race as a whole. Nationalism, political persuasion, sportsclub-supporters are just a small example of other groups/cultures that are in place where the people that identify themselves with them fight each other on a regular base.

[edit on 19-8-2008 by Harman]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by Harman
sportsclub-supporters are just a small example of other groups/cultures that are in place where the people that identify themselves with them fight each other on a regular base.

[edit on 19-8-2008 by Harman]


That's a good one. You definitely can't be a Mets fan and a Yankees fan. And these are definitely artificially created just to sell merchandise. Expansion teams = expansion of profits.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 01:41 PM
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I'm an artist. I like this title because everything originally stems from an act of creation. Creativity = art. It's more than just painting and music. So even when I'm not creating on the canvas, I'm creating in the mind.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 01:45 PM
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Besides being a iconoclast.

I can pretty much choose what I want to be at any given time because...

I am also a schizophrenic. Anyway, that't what the voices tell me.

[edit on 19-8-2008 by whaaa]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 01:54 PM
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We put people into groups because it gives us hints of how to get along with them based on earlier experience with that kind of person.

We like to think we "get" people.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 02:04 PM
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Originally posted by sc2099

Originally posted by Harman
sportsclub-supporters are just a small example of other groups/cultures that are in place where the people that identify themselves with them fight each other on a regular base.

[edit on 19-8-2008 by Harman]


That's a good one. You definitely can't be a Mets fan and a Yankees fan. And these are definitely artificially created just to sell merchandise. Expansion teams = expansion of profits.
hmmm. I was a duck and a beaver. I chose beaver. I relate to beaver things. Duck things were not "ME''. I AM(more like) a beaver. But I'm not much of a joiner. Not much of sports fan either. (unless it's tennis or football) GO BEAVS!!
oh, and I am wearing a beaver sweatshirt, so help the expansion of beaverdom.

[edit on 19-8-2008 by seagrass]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 02:07 PM
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I am a complicated individual.

No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to stay in any one 'social circle' for any great length of time, I've tried to force myself at times, but I just can't seem to do it.
Maybe I have social ADHD since many others seem content to stay in the same defined comfort zone of friends for years on end.

It's fun for a while to be part of 'the scene' but it wears off pretty damn quick for me, theres usually too much crap involved and I just can't help but let my thoughts be known.

Of course I am one of those people who suffer from athletes tongue from putting my foot in my mouth all the time, so maybe it's just me.



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 02:56 PM
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1. What are the benefits of belonging to a social organism? Why do we strive to be part of something and impose artificial definitions on our otherwise unlimited being?

Cooperation
Safety protection
Common goals
love and togetherness
backrubs and sex and shared body heat
Division of labor
health care
investment in young
sharing information, communication
building and growth
identification
fun and entertainment, creativity
business and networking
exploring and travel
status and reputation
trust

Are they artificial? Are we unlimited?


[edit on 19-8-2008 by seagrass]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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I am a metalhead.

I am a spiritualist.

I am a computer geek.

I am a video game nerd.

I am an artist.

I am a writer.


Dending as what someone defines himself, we can predict with 70% accuracy the persons:

* Clothing

* Speech-Patterns

* Vocabulary & Slogans

* Mannerisms

* Enemies

* Location

* Goals

* Beliefs & Values

* and in some cases even the level of income, life expectancy, and effective ways to approach and communicate with the person.


I challenge people to guess my specs in these fields. I think this is a REALLY cool experiment. If anyone wants me to guess theirs I would love to try.


Questions for Research:

1. What are the benefits of belonging to a social organism? Why do we strive to be part of something and impose artificial definitions on our otherwise unlimited being?

The benefits are endless. If you are alone you have only your opinion. You cannot debunk your own opinions, nor can you justify them. A person's identity is usually very similar to those around them. Anyone who you come into contact with who expresses an opinion affects your character. Whether consciously or sub-consciously those opinions are registered and used to either support or destroy your own opinions. In this way being part of a social organism teaches us. Yes we can do our own research but without the collaboration of many people you could never prove anything. Those people who research would fit into the researcher organism. Those who study that knowledge posted by others fit into the student organism. I think it is inevitable that we join a group as we are drawn to those with similar interests and we seek confirmation of our beliefs. The only way to completely be apart from a social organism would be to hermit. Then you are a hermit though.

2. What are the disadvantages of taking in a fixed identity too strongly? (Apart from the predictability I pointed out)?

As you progress through the "stages" of any identity you develop an ego. The further you progress the stronger you feel that your beliefs are the correct ones. The more other people affirm this the stronger your conviction becomes.
*ZAP* Ignorant, closed-minded individual fresh out of the mould.


3. Who are we beyond the artificial labels and stereotypes?

It is my belief we are spiritual beings with infinite potential. Objectively, we are firstly human beings; then we are curious.

4. In which way could it be fun to change ones group-identification once in awhile?

I think this is a matter of opinion. Some people would see this as fun, others wouldn't. I made myself who I am today and I have not closed any doors on my way here. I will be a pirate one day, a monk the next. It depends on my mood. Both are enjoyable. Would I like to try other things? DEFINITELY! With 24 hours in a day and having to work a full-time job (in order to talk with you wonderful people) I just don't have enough time to do it all. I would highly recommend switching up your social group as it helps clear the egotistical clutter and leaves you with an open mind.

And most importantly:

5. Which subcultures, social organisms, groups, cults seem to be artificially engineered for the purpose of controlling humans?

Anything that revolves around material wealth. Money is the greatest "artificially engineered" control measure known to mankind. Religious sects could be, but I think those who follow a spiritual path with an open mind are not being controlled, merely exploring. That's the difference between being spiritual and being Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.



[edit on 19/8/2008 by Scurvy]



posted on Aug, 19 2008 @ 03:20 PM
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Hi Skyfloating, nice thread, strrd and flggd.
But according to my dictionary
I am an Alien.


Serious now,
I am a soul who gets the chance to improve his spiritual level at a place called Earth.


[edit on 19/8/08 by spacevisitor]





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