The notion of self strikes us all in someway throughout our lives. Whether we are considered by others to be of a particular persuasion or we admire or despair of our own qualities we have ingrained perceptions and beliefs about the nature of the self, of ourselves. The importance of culture and context in understanding the processes by which people come to describe, explain or account for the world and themselves is described as social constructionism. The theory of social constructionism contrasts with theories of psychodynamic perspectives and essentialism that suggest that our representations of ourselves are based on some innate and unconscious propensities. This essay will show that the social constructivist
What makes a person their own individual is a question that can be deeply contemplated. The reached conclusion is generally a combination of the person’s experiences, thoughts, feelings, and goals. Even though this may seem like a simple answer to this inquiry the solution to a person’s individuality is much more complicated. When asked to attempt to explain who I am on a piece of paper it required some inward thought. In order to best describe myself, I will attempt to highlight some important experiences, my thoughts and feelings throughout aforementioned experiences, and my overall goals in life.
The acquiring of this knowledge is what leads to us gaining our identity. Social action theorists suggest that there are three main parts to our identity. The first of these parts is the things that make us individual, such as name, signature and photograph. The second aspect is social identity, which is made up of the personality characteristics that are associated with our role in society. For example, I am seen as an older brother, which society may make me out to be annoying and protective of my younger sibling, but I am also seen as a student, who is perceived to be hard-working and well-behaved. The final part of our identity is the concept of ‘self’, or what we think of ourselves, and how we think we play our respective roles.
Any time someone thinks, their brain has a special, designated voice for their thoughts. This voice, allows an individual to in some degree, have a conversation with their self, without necessarily communicating out loud. This voice in our heads has had numerous names throughout the years, such as a person’s conscious or recently has been called the “self.” Many researchers have wanted to know who and or what the actual voice is that we hear in our conversations. Richard Rass author of “Introduction to Perspectives on the Self: Conversations on Identity and Consciousness”, explains that “self has assumed radically different meanings…” throughout the years (Rass 2). Knowing what “self” is and why it helps enlighten our lives is apart of the journey. Rass stated that the “self” or conscious could play a role in knowing humans “psychological composition” (Rass 2). With new research appearing more than ever before, we are gradually obtaining the ability to
However, identify is argued to no longer be about distinguishing who you are as a person because of how people are struggling to find their true selves. People are left to wander around in the world so that they can go through times that can help them shape who they are, who they want to be, or who should be in the future. We want to be able to have some sense of belonging in the world and we do so by interacting with friends that share the same common interests or self-presentations. This way, we are able to self-realize and reflect on the person we are becoming over time in relation to the roles we previously held in society so we can adjust accordingly. Such individuals are illustrated to be “self-reflective” because this gives them the prerogative to make their own life choices without the influences of others impacting them. On the other hand, we find ourselves letting other people make such decisions for us. We try to deflect these attempts, yet we let it happen anyway as a result of those negative influences because of a sense of not belonging, being accepted, or impressing friends so that they believe you are this type of person. This innately allows us to seek our social identity and what role we want to bring to the group. Indeed, we can state that we can learn and be
Recently I had someone say to me, “we don’t know who we are because we are all a product of our environment.” That said, the question remains: Are we defined by our environment and merely a product of it, or we posses the ability to make decisions despite it? The age old question of who am I kept stirring in my mind. It got me thinking about how I define myself and how the environment that I grew up in has shaped me. My first thought was “Wait a minute I know who I am, I think?” So I made a list of the obvious; wife, mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, etc. Looking at that list I realized that those “labels” were just words used to define my relationships to other people.
A prevalent idea that is not only discussed frequently in the field of philosophy but is also bound to make an appearance in everyone’s wandering thoughts is the concept of personal Identity. Who am I? What is it to be a person? How can one perceive a one’s existence in time? All these and more are common questions that can blindside someone’s casual daydream and force them down the rabbit hole of philosophy. Intellectuals from all around the world have pondered this conception of self, yet one man especially has delivered the soundest notion. Philosophically David Hume has proven to have the most credible theories on self-identity. It’s obviously important to recognize any of my personal theories brought up in this paper
On the topic of “self” versus “no self,” I believe that there is a core self, a unique sense of identity as separate from others, and that seeks self-actualization. However, like Hoffman, Stewart, Warren, and Meek, in their 2009 article “Toward a Sustainable Myth of Self: An Existential Response to the Postmodern Condition,” I believe that the self develops within a framework provided by the society in which the individual lives in, which contains aspects of self that are fluid enough to appropriately suit the individual within the appropriate context to their perceived role in society and their environment. I also believe that the separation of self into two categories physical self, and spiritual self, are integrated into the individual’s
Two things can happen when we are required to base our definition of “self” on others. One can take others’ ways of living and thinking, process them, and formulate his or her own definition, independent of anyone else. Or, one can use the relationships he or she has with other people on which to base their own definition of self, thus making him or her dependent on those other people. As young people, we learn and take in all we can through the world, our experiences, and relationships with other people. From there, we grow and establish our own identities, our own “selves”, in response to those interactions with others. This definition is continually growing and progressing as we evolve as people, interacting with different people in different environments and
There are four main theories about what one’s personal identity is made of the Illusion theory, the Cartesian theory, Psychological continuity, and Bodily Criterion. One of the people to go in depth about the first theory, the Illusion theory, was a man named Bruce Hood. He explains that self is not an independent entity that is a constant, but an ever-changing story for our brains to process the factors that frame how we think. The second theory is the Cartesian theory which is the idea that your soul is what makes up the self. Rene Descartes, a French philosopher, found that the immaterial soul is the source of our identity. Psychological Continuity is the third theory and it explains that self is a matter of your mind being a constant throughout your life. John Locke is one of the people that speaks at length about the theory of psychological continuity being the self. The last theory is the Bodily Criterion theory and that demonstrates that you are the physical body and if that changes, then you are not yourself anymore.
"I believe that if we are honest with ourselves, that the most fascinating problem in the world is 'Who am I?' What do you mean? What do you feel when you say the word 'I, myself'? I don’t think there can be an anymore fascinating preoccupation than that because it is so mysterious. It is so elusive. Because what you are in your inmost being escapes your examination in rather the same way you can’t look into your own eyes without a mirror, you can’t bite your own teeth, you can’t taste your own tongue and you can’t touch the end of one finger with the same finger. That is why there is always an element of profound mystery in the problem of who we are." This was said by Alan Watts, a British philosopher who specialized in spiritual and social identity.
It is not only intellectuals and English theory professors who spend countless hours and study attempting to determine the notion of self. People all over the world do it everyday, whether consciously or unconsciously. People question who they are and how their lives are structured in relation to the society in which they live. From questioning why they forgot the eggs on the grocery list to why life seems to be an eternal roller-coaster, people have an innate desire to learn about the self and how it functions in day-to-day life. People are always searching for an answer, which seems impossible to find: was I pre-determined to forget those eggs regardless of how prominent I
me is the social side of self as known from external environment. I is to know through his own subjective consciousness of self. However, only after we have the objective, social and impersonal sense of self-the Me, we can then have the subjective, personal and intimate sense of self--the I (Ransome, 2010). Thus, the self is not totally made of social aspect which receives information about them from society. Individuals have their own consciousness arising from themselves, although it needs to fellow after the arising of I.
At one point in life, at a young age or as a resident in an elderly home, the question of who am I will arise. It is a convoluted mesh of thoughts and feelings that a person will go through before coming up with an answer. Some people may even experience cognitive dissonance in trying to explain different stages of life, while others will be comfortable in responding instantaneously with minimal cognition. In going through this process and drawing up the ‘who am I’ and individual is further confronted with others people’s perception. Where does this lead, when presented with other’s opinion, and what is it based it on? Response from outside sources is mainly based on perspective concerning an individual’s personality.