Erving Goffman's influential work explores how individuals present themselves in social interactions and the construction of identities within society. ValueMaps aligns with this theory by recognising that collective identity is not merely a sum of individual identities but a complex interplay of shared values and beliefs. Goffman's concept of individuals managing their impression through self-presentation resonates with the process of creating ValueMaps, where participants express their chosen values, contributing to the formation of a collective identity.
Social constructionism posits that reality is constructed through social interactions and language. According to this perspective, collective identities are not inherent or predetermined but are shaped through shared meanings, beliefs, and values. ValueMaps embrace the principles of social constructionism by providing a platform for individuals to express and discuss their values. Through this interactive process, participants collaboratively construct a shared set of values, giving rise to a collective identity.
Carl Jung's theory of archetypes suggests that human beings possess collective unconscious structures that influence their thoughts, behaviors, and experiences. Archetypes represent universal patterns of human behavior and symbolism. ValueMaps align with this theory by utilising eight archetypal identities. These archetypes provide a rich framework for understanding the diversity of values and identities within a collective. By recognising and exploring these archetypal patterns, ValueMaps enhance self-awareness and foster a deeper understanding of collective identity.
A Participatory Approach
The ValueMaps tool combines the above theoretical foundations to uncover collective identities. Participants contribute their individual values, which are then plotted on a matrix based on a genotype and phenotype. This visualisation generates a shared set of values and an initial framework for collective identity. Subsequently, an interactive workshop is conducted, allowing participants to engage in dialogue, share perspectives, and refine their ValueMap. This collaborative process facilitates the exploration of shared values, the emergence of common themes, and the evolution of a more nuanced collective identity.
ValueMaps provide a powerful tool for teams, organisations, and communities to understand and explore their collective identity. By drawing inspiration from Goffman's theory of self-presentation, social constructionism, and Jung's archetypes, ValueMaps enable participants to express their values, engage in meaningful dialogue, and collectively construct a shared set of values and identity. As we navigate an increasingly interconnected world, tools like ValueMaps can help foster understanding, collaboration, and the development of cohesive and purpose-driven collectives.