„The biological organism and the social persona are profoundly different social constructions. The different systems of social practices, including discourse practices, through which these two notions are constituted, have their meanings, and are made use of, are radically incommensurable. The biological notion of a human organism as an identifiable individual unit of analysis depends on the specific scientific practices we use to construct the identity, the boundedness, the integrity, and the continuity across interactions of this unit. The criteria we use to do so: DNA signatures, neural micro-anatomy, organism-environment boundaries, internal physiological interdependence of subsystems, external physical probes of identification at distinct moments of physical time -- all depend on social practices and discourses profoundly different from those in terms of which we define the social person.
The social-biographical person is also an individual insofar as we construct its identity, boundedness, integrity, and continuity. But the social practices and discourses we deploy in these constructions are quite different. We define the social person in terms of social interactions, social roles, socially and culturally meaningful behavior patterns. We construct from these notions of the personal identity of an individual the separateness and independence of that individual from the social environment with which it transacts, the internal unity or integrity of the individual as a consistent persona, and the continuity of that persona across social interactions.“

—  Jay Lemke, Textual politics: Discourse and social dynamics, 1995, p. 68
Jay Lemke Foto
Jay Lemke
filósofo estadounidense 1946

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„The social sciences are usually concerned with groups of persons rather than individual persons. The behavior of individuals, being free, is unpredictable.“

—  Carroll Quigley American historian 1910 - 1977
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„When an individual appears before others, he wittingly and unwittingly projects a definition of the situation, of which a conception of himself is an important part. When an event occurs which is expressively incompatible with this fostered impression, significant consequences are simultaneously felt in three levels of social reality, each of which involves a different point of reference and a different order of fact.
First, the social interaction, treated here as a dialogue between two teams, may come to an embarrassed and confused halt; the situation may cease to be defined, previous positions may become no longer tenable, and participants may find themselves without a charted course of action…
Secondly, in addition to these disorganizing consequences for action at the moment, performance disruptions may have consequences of a more far-reaching kind. Audiences tend to accept the self projected by the individual performer during any current performance as a responsible representative of his colleague-grouping, of his team, and of his social establishment…
Finally, we often find that the individual may deeply involve his ego in his identification with a particular role, establishment, and group and in his self-conception as someone who does not disrupt social interaction or let down the social units which depend upon that interaction.“

—  Erving Goffman, libro The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life
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