The Self And Identity Being Socially Constructed Through Social Interactions

2435 Words Nov 17th, 2014 10 Pages
The self has been considered difficult to define; ‘it is much easier to feel the self than to define the self’ (Allport, 1961, p.128). This could be due to self and identity being understood differently by both traditional and critical social psychologists. Critical social psychologists view the self as reflexive and intersubjective, whereby an individual observes and responds to their own behaviour (Mead, 1934). This approach views self and identity as being socially constructed through social interactions (Stainton Rogers, 2011). Traditional social psychologists, on the other hand, assume that there is a separation between the individual and the environment; they believe that the individual can be influenced by internal and external forces (Stainton Rogers 2011). Traditional social psychologists focus more on the cognitive processes of an individual, with a slight insight into society’s influence on an individual’s self and identity. This introductory section provides a brief overview of the perspectives that will be discussed and criticised in more detail throughout the essay, they will be critically evaluated by comparing and contrasting the two distinct approaches. To subsequently conclude, that the traditional social psychological view is too parsimonious and does not understand the complexity and extent to which the society can influence the self and identity; compared to that viewed by critical social psychologists, who place a significant importance on social…
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