Understanding of the Self Essay

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Understanding of the Self

INTRODUCTION The social constructionist perspective holds the view that the self is continuing "shaped and reshaped through interactions with others and involvement in social and cultural activities" (Wetherell & Maybin, 1996, p 220). Social constructionist is concerned with explicating the processes by which people come to describe, explain, or otherwise account for the world (including themselves) in which they live (Gergen, 1971). Thus, the social constructionist approach implies that the self is shaped by social interaction within historical, cultural and social contexts. Social constructionist's apply an analysis of societal level which explain the self through social relations. Conversely, the
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Therefore, the argument as presented by the social constructionist view is that self identity is shaped through a combination of interactions between the society and the individual (Wetherell and Maybin, 1996). An example to support would be social constructionist's Miller and Sperry whose finding discovered connections in the emotions of a child's and his mother's. Thus they believe that this finding proves that there is an internalisation and construction of one self through descriptive stories and social distribution (Wetherell & Maybin, 1996).

Both the social constructionist and the psychodynamic views adopt a hermeneutic epistemology, which centers on the analysis of a person's actions, their fundamental influences and how the external social world can be internalised and represented symbolically within an individual (Stevens, 1996). However, there are key differences between the two views. The social constructionist applies a societal study approach which converge the external society and the social relationships within it. This implying that the self is built-up and continually developed through multiple social networks (Sapsford, 1996). On the other hand, psychodynamic theories applies psychoanalytical
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