Monday, November 06, 2006


Author's Note: I've tried my best to create a flow between posts but I've run out of things to add to the current thread. So all the entries that follow will be independent essays. This essay on Identity probably should have come after Practice.

Every collective, and more particularly, every field has a sense of the appropriate and inappropriate practices including the appropriate and inappropriate behavior and deportment. Immersion in the field and constant (conscious and unconscious) repetition leads to the internalization of this sense of appropriate and inappropriate behavior and deportment and the manifestation of this in the immersee's practice.

This is evident in all fields whether the field be defined as the field of poetry, dancing, singing, being an Atenean or being a Filipino. Immersion in the arts, for example, leads to a certain poetic or musical or artistic sensibility (and temperement, artist kasi). For dancers, in particular, immersion in their art leads to a particular deportment. You can tell, for example, if someone is a ballet dancer even when the dancer is not dancing.

Immersion in a field also leads to the creation of identities, especially for established fields. A person who is immersed in the field of poetry is not merely a writer of poems, that person is a poet. The same is true for a dancer, a singer or an artist.

(The mystery is this: when does someone assume an identity, ex. when does someone become a poet and not merely a writer of poetry? A lot of it will probably have to do with when the legislators deem that person worthy to be called a poet. Otherwise the person will just be a feeling or trying hard poet)

Beyond the arts, people can tell by their practices who the Ateneans or Filipinos are. I was told recently by a mother of an Ateneo High School teenager that my deportment betrayed my being an Atenean (and someone who came from the Ateneo High School at that). And as for being Filipino, there are so many books on how one can tell that somebody is a Filipino.

Immersion in a field is reflected in the occupants' practices and the definition of the occupants' identity in terms of the occupied field.

Next Post: Thursday, November 9

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