Volume 6, Issue 1, Spring 1999
Personal Identity and Social Change
Toward a Post-Traditional Lifeworld
The paper attempts to describe mechanisms of personal identity development during the radical break with traditions which is typical for the age of reflexive modernity. Here identity development is no longer possible on the base of identification with irreflexive, traditionally given symbols of a local culture. Post-traditional identity does not refer to the past, but to the future, which has optional as well as contingent character.
Post-traditional identity is formed through participation in a kind of intersubjectivity which has a reflexive and universal structure. I explain this model of inter subjectivity by means of a comparative analysis of two opposite concepts of interpersonal communication, respectively of the relationship between land We-namely those of Charles Taylor and Jürgen Habermas.