Independent George's Identity Work
Tags: psychology/social psychology, social construction, theory, commuters, cooley, integrators, identity maintenance, looking-glass self, symbolic interactionism, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: In this clip from the Seinfeld episode, "The Pool Guy" (Season 7, Episode 8), a panic-stricken George complains to Jerry about "worlds colliding" when "Independent George" (as single/identity presented to friends) may meet "Relationship George" (as 'boyfriend' to Susan/identity presented to potential and/or current partners) at a social event wherein both social networks are present. If such an event were to happen, then according to character George Costanza, "Independent George" would cease to exist (or visa versa). This clip serves as a great example of identity maintenance and symbolic interaction, including Cooley's looking-glass self (where George imagines his appearance differently across difference audiences). It is also an excellent illustration of Wayne Brekhus' work regarding identity commuters (or "chameleons") as explained in his book Peacocks, Chameleons and Centaurs: Gay Suburbia and the Grammar of Social Identity.
Submitted By: Aimee Koon
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