Regarding your questions about constructed identitiies, I can only speak from
my own experience.
I grew up within (primarily my father's) discourse about "The Bruces" When
the going got tough, etc...I was expected to "be a Bruce." I was taught
that certain values, expectations and behaviors went with the name. It
wasn't until I was much older that I even considered my mother's Irish (and
Working on my Ph.D. in psychology and currently working at a placement with
Native Americans (including a tribe who had contact with the early Bruces in
Wawona, Yosemite), I instinctively felt a need to locate/position myself
historically and culturally--A "Who am I" and"Who are my people" question. I
felt I needed to think more consciously about historical and cultural
mythologies and ideologies informing my sense of Self--before I began to work
with Native Americans. And in fact, early in my placement, I was asked by a
Native American female elder, "Who are your people?"
Although, because of my upbringing I thought of my family (and therefore
myself) as Americans-now-but-used to-be-Scottish, I wanted to include my
mother's side of the family--Irish. So, on this list and, in general, I use
"Celtic." Emotionally, I identify with the Scots. Much idealization of
Scotland, to be sure. I am frequently surprised by my emotional responses
concerning Scotland and admit to a certain blind combative/protective
attitude to a country I have never seen--a peculiar loyalty to a people I do
not know. That was the purpose of my earlier posting regarding "irrational
resentment." I wondered if others who have similiar "constructed
identities" have the same experience of having strong feelings about those,
however subjectively defined, as Scotland's enemies.
I certainly agree with the notion of constructed identities--- from various
philosophical standpoints: phenomenological, historical materialist,
post-modern etc. In some sense we are always in the process of
self-creation. This, then, is how I choose.
Thank you for your insightful comments.