Synthesis through Tensions: Georgian Identity Construction between East and West'

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Organiser: Institute for Russian and Eurasian Studies (IRES)
  • Contact person: Jevgenija Gehsbarga
  • Föreläsning

NB! The event will be held on Zoom. To attend the event please click on the link

At the seminar the results of the psycho-anthropological exploration of the social representation of Georgianness in contemporary time and the broader historical and sociocultural context in which it is being constructed will be presented. 

Deductions are based on the qualitative study, including ethnographic person-centred interviews with 23 respondents and relevant secondary data analysis. Several meaningful semiotic signs mark Georgianness. Namely, it is marked by the highest valuation of family-related values, conservative representation of female sexuality and gender roles. Georgianness is associated with the “Dardimanduli” ethos that implies orientation on the present time and specific form of “lightness” in the perception of small or more significant details of life.

Moreover, Georgians are characterized by an excessive valuation of “proactive reciprocity” that implies the tendency/strive to present oneself as generous and lavishly selfless. However, it is the perception of “honour” that is the most significant hyper-generalized sign that signifies Georgianness and is charged with intense feelings. The perception of “honour” frames and strongly influences most essential decisions in life for individuals and also, serves as a reference point during self-evaluation and self-presentation.

Possible implications of the specific form of the social representation of Georgianness will also be considered during the presentation.

The seminar will be based on 6-7th chapters from the newly published book: Gamsakhurdia, V. L. (2021). Semiotic Construction of the Self in Multicultural Societies. London: Routledge.

Dr. Vladimer Lado Gamsakhurdia got doctorate degree in psychological anthropology from Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (2016). Recently he has worked as a visiting research fellow at the universities of Chicago, Luxembourg, Aalborg, Basque country, Fribourg and Jacobs university. He taught various courses mainly in Georgia, however, also at Jacobs university, Bremen, Germany.

His research interests are associated with identity construction, selfhood, dialogism, mobility/migration, sociocultural changes and acculturation. Vladimer Lado Gamsakhurdia elaborated the term of proculturation to signify subjective experiences and related meaning-making processes which develop when people meet foreign cultural elements. Moreover, he is interested in the research of interplay between culture and personality throughout the historical development and follows cultural psychological theoretical stance.

Currently, he is studying Georgian emigrants proculturative adaptive experiences in Sweden and in neighboring countries in Europe. His recent publications reveal the characteristics of Georgians’ identity construction and also, theoretical subtleties of semiotic dynamics of adaptation in emigration.