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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 75 | volume XIII | November-December, 2010



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 75November-December, 2010

On Name and Identity

p. 1
Zlatko Kramarić

With the On Name lecture I would like to caution against certain traumatic issues – such as the name, the identity, ideology, gender policies – that Macedonian literature and theory, as well as Macedonian politics are currently facing. These issues are of course also the subject of interest of numerous contemporary humanist disciplines (anthropology, ethics, political theory, theory of literature, deconstruction, speech act theory, feminist theory, etc). Problems regarding identity most often appear in times of crisis: when all existing values and principles are questioned, when the existent patterns of life offer no satisfactory responses to the challenges of time, and there is nothing new to replace the old. It is a state when individuals/societies fall into a vacuum of social norms of a sort, and all this creates greater insecurity and uncertainty. In such a state of restlessness the search for identity is reduced to resolving the relations between the individual and society as a whole. What may seem as a paradox of a sort is the fact that many see the way out of this threatening relationship in neotraditionalism since experience (legend, myth) teaches them that only traditional models of identity may provide security in a moment of crisis. This means that ‘the desire for roots and the ethnification of the world’ in such situations seem like the only possible and reasonable solution.
    In this context one might also consider national identification, which grows particularly important in times of major social changes in which a change of the traditional identity model and the need for forming a new one occurs – I believe that after the nineties the Macedonian case is a paradigmatic example – and in such times there are many who see the solution in the return to tradition. In such restless times the ethnic/national identity becomes particularly important since it could offer a stable (natural) and constant core of affiliation.
    Contemporary identity theories mainly treat the notions of inconstancy and variability. It is considered that identity is merely a temporary stabilization of meaning. When it is discussed, therefore, one should be aware that it is not possible to talk of a constant identity, but only of its existence, which, for a number of reasons, is subject to various changes and transformations. Identity is a variable category and as such is dependent on political/historical changes since each new life/political context (1) may require a shift to a different

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