The Social Making of the Self

The Impact of Social Norms on the Constitution of Personal Identity and its Implications in Political Theory

French American Research Program / Programme de recherche franco-américain (2019-2021)

Université de Lyon / New School for Social Research

Sponsors: Thomas Jefferson Fund (FACE Foundation) ; Labex COMOD (Université de Lyon)

Scientific coordinators / Responsables scientifiques :

Pierre-Jean Renaudie (Université de Lyon/IRPHIL) – Daniel Rodriguez-Navas (New School for Social Research)

How do social and political norms influence and shape the building of individual identities in modern liberal democracies? Political theory, social and cultural studies and philosophy of mind have proposed different answers to this question and highlighted irreducible aspects of the involvement of intersubjective relations within the process through which personal identity is constituted. Bringing together the resources of these different disciplines, the goal of this interdisciplinary project is to provide a renewed and original framework to understand and assess the impact of social norms on the constitution of the self, and the effect that changes in traditional conceptions of personal identity may have on political theory. The project intends to demonstrate the complementarity between these domains of analysis so as to shed new light on the political challenges related to the definition of individual identities. It will give rise to a fruitful collaboration between French and American young researchers whose various domains of expertise will be instrumental in finding new ways of articulating the social and the individual, and in developing conceptual tools for understanding contemporary political trends.

Main events:

  • Contacts:

Pierre-Jean Renaudie:

Daniel Rodriguez-Navas :