Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I am Local ~ What does that Mean in the Social Imagiantion?

I am local was the response often given when conducting research in eastern Europe. The research was to establish the identity of those who were subject to border and political change after WWII and up until accession into the European Union.
Being in a place as in connected to a place is critical for the social imagination. It is about knowing where you/we belong. Of course, we can be in many places throughout our life; but there is always one place in our social imagination that we will find our being.
When that is taken away or no longer to be found in the place you left, we feel discomfort. Though non locality exists at the quantum level, locality is necessary in the here and now as in the moment. It grounds a person so that they have a sense of purpose and even appointment. We truly meet ourself in the
place of purpose where we belong as in needed and able to fulfill that need and purpose.
In the case of eastern Europe in the Euro Bug Region, being local was about just being in a place as the result of circumstance. However, the response "I am local" also suggests in its verbalization a means to deal with those circumstances. We need to be local, we need to feel grounded in a place and have some comfort, purpose and need there. Being in a place as in identifying oneself as local provides that even when the local place we are in is not of our choice.
I have encountered people in a place and wrongly assumed that they were from there. Their response to correct me was "Oh, I am not from here". Does that mean that though they are from somewhere else, they can be 'local' in their mind, as in being from the place they truly identify with, while at the same time be somewhere else? Yes.
Now, did those people identity (the EU study) being local in that way as mentioned above. Being there, but in their mind being somewhere else? Absolutely. We can be in one place in our mind and somewhere else physically. Does that mean a person is 'crazy as insane'. Depends on how they articulate what they experience. Daydreaming is a form of it.  However, I am not talking about daydreaming and nor was the study about that nor did it set out to discover if people who were found not from there originally but there by chance or circumstance.
It was really just about exploring place in the social imagination. We concluded that place has levels. It is where you are, where you would like to be and where you are from ~ originally. The latter always seemed to determine the first two and future imagination for future places of being. When describing the place a person is from it was revealed the depth of identity as in embedded information which is somehow local but more than that as in cosmic. A person's identity in their place of origin is who they are and does determine their ability to seek other information, other places.

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