Saturday, June 19, 2021

We-ness, Identity, and the Nation State

My research takes me to some pretty surprising places. I've been thinking about identity a lot lately, in terms of how public policy reveals our sense if who we are as a people, and how resistance to inclusion shows where our commitments are.
This morning I ended up at the notion of "we-ness," something psychologists speak of, but that I think has relevance for understanding the current turmoil in recent events, especially when looking at how marginalized members of society have been pushing against the status quo, and how to balance robust inclusion with healthy respect for individuality.
Us, with a future.
From the article:
"in a strongly committed relationship, there will be some identity of us, and it will have a boundary."
The author uses a diagram of relationship dynamics:

"In some relationships, there is a painful reality where both the top right and bottom drawings reflect the reality of the relationship, with one partner wanting the former and the other preferring or only capable of the latter. Those are situations where one partner is substantially less committed than the other, and likely a lot less willing to have, develop, or nurture that third identity."
"For those who want the 'us' in their life, they will have to look for a relationship with the right balance of me and we, and then invest in protecting it." (emphasis added) This protection is what policy is for, at the societal level.