Talking about the production of subjectivity is a novel topic in the sense that they are recent categories in the field of social sciences. And to speak I have to ask myself From what place am I speaking, from where am I going to enunciate what I intend to enunciate?
What is subjectivity?
Subjectivity is a property of perception. This is based on opinions, feelings and personal beliefs, not the object itself. They are personal because they are not factual beliefs or opinions, in the sense that there is no objective way of “knowing”, for example, if one flower is more beautiful than another, since each person has their own point of view. What one person may regard as good, another may regard as bad; what one person may regard as beautiful, another may regard as ugly.
“We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are” This phrase by the German philosopher Immanuel Kant describes what we call subjective perception; where each individual sees things according to their wishes and interests. Generally, what others think of the same events or things we categorize as incorrect or subjective, but in reality we are all subject to subjectivity.
The perception of a person cannot be shared with anyone other than through communication. Communication is fallible, subject to exaggeration, falsification and misinterpretation, therefore, one person can never reach the same perception as another. This is not to say that they cannot perceive things in a similar way.
So, we can come to the conclusion that some things do not exist objectively. For example: colors do not exist objectively, but exist only as subjective perceptions that originate from a stimulus; This stimulus is given through our senses and can be: visual, tactile, auditory, olfactory or gustatory.
Production of subjectivity in history
In the 19th century the Industrial Revolution took place and with it Modernity , which generated unprecedented social phenomena. The development of urban centers very densely populated with citizens was made possible, that is, of subjects free to sell their labor power, to choose their mandates, for which problems previously not considered arose, such as the emergence of collective phenomena, groups . At the same time, there was the rise of science and Rationalism, which opened the way to discourses and theories of a very complex phenomenal field: Modern society.
It is precisely at this time that we find the theories of Marx, Durkheim and Weber, among others who offered multiple approaches to account for this new reality . In modern sociology there were actors who tried to explain the functioning of the subject and how society influenced them, being able to make a certain generality.
In this context, the so-called positive sciences criticize the social sciences due to their highly speculative nature of the latter. But it should be borne in mind that both types of sciences enunciate and compare statements of different nature, but with the same degree of validity. For example, when social psychology addresses problems such as the choice of a partner , we may find that someone wonders, do I form a stable couple? Or are they non-stable? Or, is it better to stay alone? . but you may wonder … what is scientific in all this?
Some may think that every individual is free to choose what seems best to him, but if we refer to sociological research we see that this is not the case, but on the contrary, when choosing there are cultural, aesthetic and ideological evaluations, that is, it is chosen by virtue of the imaginary location that surrounds the subject on the scale of social classes, in the productive circuit.
There are determinations that lead us to make the choice of an object and, according to psychoanalysis, these are narcistic or oedipal choices . Oedipal in the sense that emotional satisfaction is sought in the other person, similar to the satisfaction granted by those who fulfilled the role of mother and / or father in childhood. And narcissistic in the sense that I choose someone who is a mirror of me, what aesthetic, individualistic, social desegregation and consumerism models enact.
But there is no school or a universal, ubiquitous, unviable structure of a philosophical, psychic or social subject . Similarly, there is no image or representation of the human being that meets these characteristics and that is hegemonic in a society. In both cases they are historical constructions that depend on the historical moment, social class, modes of production and the functioning of a society and even on ethnic dimensions.
What do exist are productions of subjectivity through which societies try to produce similar subjects following a pattern established by the dominant class or group. Therefore we are all a product of society, of the production of life of analyzable social acts.
And finally, it is worth noting that in the field of social sciences the term ideology has been changed to the production of subjectivity.
Subjectivity in society
When we speak of subjectivity in society we refer to the considerations that have to do with the mental state of the observer or participant according to the social context, for example, stereotypes about race or religion, attitudes towards others, understanding of situations and social norms, etc.
We emphasize the idea that each person has their own form of subjectivity: their own ideas, attitudes, expectations and ways of understanding. These elements are abstract and intangible. However, these forms of subjectivity also have concrete intersubjective social effects.
In society, we tend to perceive the activities of others and behave, in part, out of consideration for the attitudes and preconceptions we possess. These subjective characteristics are also intersubjective, in the sense that most other members of society can share these representations; We call this “common sense.”
In the 16th century, common sense was defined as “the simple wisdom that everyone possesses.” The philosophy of common sense was developed by Thomas Paine, as a reaction against the skepticism of David Hume and the subjective idealism of George Berkeley.
It is difficult to find an exact definition of common sense and to identify particular elements of knowledge that are “common sense . ” To speak of common sense is to speak of something that we all think we know is true, but may not be; something that society itself imposes on us. It is a form of reasoning based on basic rationality applied to that knowledge. However, the problem with common sense is that the scope of knowledge can be quite wrong, and basic rationality simply cannot be deep enough to try to find the truth.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.