Roles

I think at the time I felt a need to stake out some kind of intellectual niche for myself, and was actually quite thrilled to have an opportunity to "correct" (in a rather nit-picky way) someone regarding a topic about which I felt to be expert. Quite embarassing now, in retrospect. Verily, I feel like a ripe asshole. Does _that_ have enough to do with net dynamics for you?


if I slip, by say gathering some content, or looking at a person as "you" instead of a he, she, it or archetype, please forgive. I'm a beginner.
So...once you know how the roles are being *acted* and you unweave the cloth of the interpersonal dynamic...what are you left with and why is it interesting?

Welcome back, prodigal daughter Marlene. I'm not sure who that makes the parent (Harriet and I thought YOU were the parent)...Roles might be quite fluid in this "family-like" system.
I found it very interesting that Matt entered the discussion at this point - following on the heels of a post regarding his ambivalence about engaging as list owner/leader/demi-god or whatever he is from moment to moment. His role is particularly ambiguous - not only to himself - but I suspect to us as well. What does he represent? What would we like him to represent.
I've been complaining because I have been cast into a role ("moral police") which has little to do with me and means that much of what I say is misunderstood or understood only in very narrow and rigid terms. This role began to develop by about the second week of the group's existence. It has never been comfortable for me;
These symptoms of behavior are typical of the "Bid for Power" stage of COG's ladder; a Model for Group Development, and the "Storm" stage of Tuckman's Model of Group Development. It's a role-sorting and boundary testing phase of group development. Conflict increases as assertions are made and resolve tested. Roles that are implied by the group are tried on by members of the group, who are often found wanting with respect to individual expectations for that particular role. As affective communication increases and cognitive communication shrinks to allow the adjustment, affinities are formed and alliances tend to develop.
We're looking for a messiah.
could we not assume that I could play the role of an antagonist, Carl?
you really are an antagonistic fuck, ain't ya!
seeing the same folks on different lists might help distinguish personality traits from list-specific roles.
Actually, I'm not from Kansas and see myself more as the "Good Bitch of the North". ;)
For those who thrill to rebel-without-a-cause posturing, Robert will be a "deviant leader" for a while.
>>What about this question of roles or assumptions about your identity, either choosing them or getting them thrust upon you in a group -- don't they tend to over-simplify and either over- or under-estimate just about anyone
Matt's role is becoming more clear. Some of the other roles are too. This is something we could look at. But we would be talking about the role we've assigned to Matt, not who Matt is. We would talk about the role assigned to me and to others, not about our individual personal characteristics. If I choose to say something about my own experience, then that's up to me.
you so insist on rl definitions that you are missing the point i'm making. entirely.
Now, abusiveness...That's a touchy issue with me these days. I've drawn the line quite ferociously in some places and with some people. Others - like my young daughter who can fly into a rage if it's not "dessert day" and say many abusive things to me like "I hate you, you're the worst mother in the world. You're not EVEN my mother!," well, yes I have to draw the line, but I put up with alot. Is Fred behaving like a child? Are we a family? Is Fred behaving like a devil's advocate? Are we a court of law? Is Fred behaving like a "fighter" or a "flighter"? Are we a Bionic group? Is Fred behaving like a jerk? Yes and no, it depends on which Fred he's being at the moment.
Well, the fantastic roles I find myself cast into on this list (self or other-projected, I can't tell) have been quite fluid - not fixed. I've certainly felt like a lemming alot (and viewed this way by at least one other member - Ian - when he said I was "going over the edge"); mother, oh certainly; lover, often and too much; quarterback, yup!; sister, yes Harriet; Messiah....well, I won't betray my narcissism and admit to it; paraiah,...(sigh); village idiot,

Was "castrating bitch" in the list of roles?
we need to look at group interactions and the roles individuals are playing, not worry about whatever is in a person that invites their playing that role.
I would suggest that we all quit encouraging the role of gatekeeper and giving all the new folks a hard time, including the delurkers. Let's try not responding to whatever criticism of us they choose to make, for whatever reason, and focus on responding to whatever they want to initiate and see if we can't integrate it into what we are doing.
When the chaos persists, a second defense may be erected: the group institutionalizes itself. Instead of personal attributes (sex, race, age) onto which projections may confidently be directed, roles become prominent and formalized. For example, consultants are not heard as potentially useful colleagues in a shared investigation but are invited to become managers of the event. Or those with assertive voices become gurus. . . By institutionalizing itself in this fashion, a large group may believe that it will survive its own inherent destructiveness. But it does so at a cost to the individual, who begins to lose his distinctiveness. Individuals become more a role than a person; they find themselves in an institution that they have not created and to which they do not feel committed. Each individual is either lost in the chaos of the group or institutionalized into subgroups and into limiting and limited roles, and thus depersonalized. In this setting, leadership rapidly becomes stereotyped and dull, and the leader's mediating function of enabling work to develop diminishes, producing further frustration. _ (Shapirio & Carr, 1991. Lost in Familiar Places; Creating New Connections between the Individual and Society. New Haven: Yale, 168-9)
From my perspective, tribes tend to form around useful codependencies that may include affinities. In human beings, we seem to survive and dominate our environment by distributing tasks among those of us who can best tolerate a given activity, and hopefully, among those of us who are best equipped for carrying it out. In following this process, we tend for farm our ranks of member's skills for the most gifted among us relative to a specific task.
I'm not talking about interacting in a group like you would at a cocktail party or in the bedroom with your lover or in confession. To my way of thingking the nature of your participation and in many cases the nature of your experience isn't about YOU! Its about the GROUP and your role as a MEMBER! These are 2 very different functional roles
Those of you who have become accustomed to my role as the "Cassandra of Affect" may be wondering what affect to attach to what I'm saying.
Gurus are implacable? Gurus aren't swayed by the same forces that govern the rest of mundane human behaviour? Like responding to provocation and getting pissed off? Gurus maintain a blank screen posture? Gurus sit on the boundary - apart from the fray of the interior - and make mysterious, relatively detached (low-affect) pronouncements?
I'm more interested in what operates in this group to both draw gurus in (they are drawn in here, for some reason) and how the group functions to dismantle them, and why the group does this. Yes, it's something about authority and power and a whole lot of ambivalence
While I'm at it, let me make a brief point about the "guru" label. That term just happens to be handy and useful when referring to the cohort of behaviors associated in our minds with the concept of maintaining control. Control over self. While I would argue that I don't really aspire to be a guru for the group; I would quickly add that I do aspire to be in control of myself and my feelings so that I assist rather than resist discussion here. In that context, call me guru.
It's a guru-trap
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