BA 492Winter 2007 The Self
Hmm… • SUV is the car of choice for the nation’s most self-centered people. They are insecure and vain. Nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable with parenthood….A lack of confidence in driving skills…little interest in neighbors and communities…
What is the “self?” • Our understanding of our own qualities, character, and attributes
How do we know our “actual self?” • Working self concept • We assume many roles • What of role conflict? • Looking glass self • See our self reflected in the eyes and reactions of others • Symbolic Interactionism • Identity kits
The Power of the Ideal Self • Who do I wish I could be? • Where are the gaps? • Different ways of filling the gaps
What of Possible Selves? • Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished...It is this incurable unfinishedness which sets man apart from other living things. For, in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator. (Eric Hoffer 1973)
Possible Selves • I'd stand in front of the mirror with another mirror so I could see the side, and I'd hold my finger in front of the bump on my nose to try to see what it would look life if it were straighter. I spent a lot of time doing that! I did it quite frequently.
First came the initial consultation with [the surgeon], then a series of black and white pre-op photos. They were horrid. Every pore, freckle, and subcutaneous bump was magnified. My skin looked like the surface of the moon. During the second consultation, [the surgeon] used a lead pencil to shade our portions of the nose to give me an idea of what he would accomplish. It looked fine to me. To my surprise, he then took a white pencil and built up the chin area. Grace Kelly I will never be, but that picture was looking better and better. We decided to go for the chin implant as well. Surgery was scheduled for two weeks later
The real difference came when I got pregnant. I just naturally went to about a 'B' size cup and I thought 'gee, this is nice!' Afterward I missed it. It was kind of like I had gone from being a girl to being a woman. But when it was all over I had to go back to being just a girl again, and it really began to bother me. I had to go back to being my same old scrawny self.
Possible Selves Can Be • Motivating • Deterrent • Irrelevant
Extended Self Concept • A man's self is the sum total of all that he Can call his, not only his body and his psychic powers, but his clothes and his house, his wife and children, his ancestors and friends, his reputation and works, his lands, and yacht and bank-account. All these things give him the same emotions. If they wax and prosper, he feels triumphant; if they dwindle and die away, he feels cast down,-not necessarily in the same degree for each thing, but in much the same way for all - James
Processes • Control • Mastery • Create • Knowing • Habituation • Contamination
Hair Style Changes as Transition Markers: Value of Extended Self • Hair is perhaps are most powerful symbol of individual and group identity.
My hair was always about waist length. My mom made an appointment at a rather cheap looking beauty salon. The interior was decorated completely in a tacky lavender shade. There was lavender everywhere. The sight of lavender sinks, towels, hair dryers and shampoo bottles was enough to make me sick. There was even a woman with slightly blue hair working behind the desk. I sat in the chair and cried while my hair fell in long wet clumps to the floor. I felt as if I had lost a part of myself with that haircut. That night I could not go to sleep because my head felt funny on the pillow. This haircut marked the beginning of the worst years of my life.
Independence From Parental Controls • Dad instructed the barber to give us crew-cuts…I was devastated! • As far back as I can remember my mom used to pick my hairstyle
Independence From Parental Controls • In my younger days I kept a hairstyle depending on how my mother wanted it. If she wanted it cut short I got it cut short. When she wanted to see me in curls I had it curled. But towards junior high I took control of my own hair style. One summer I was feeling particularly defiant. I had it permed all over. After that I had the right side cut off to my ears so the left side was long and the right was short. I loved it. Never get your hair cut the way your mother likes it. Do just the opposite and you’ll be much happier!
Transition to Sexuality • In the sixth grade we started to accept females as something more than a nuisance. Love notes were beginning to be passed. I knew it was time for an image change. I also knew just the way to make the new me: get a cool haircut.
Sexuality • Eighth grade, a giant step forward to manhood was getting my hair styled by a woman. First of all she took me to the back room and washed my hair. I enjoyed this kind of treatment. It was a weird feeling watching her gently taking little patches of hair and delicately cutting them. I walked out the door a new man.
Gender • Stereotypes are dangerous • Women and motorcycles • Men and fashion
Possessions and The Past • Truck title • Motorcycle title • Old lift ticket from the first time I went snowboarding • Picture of friends racing motorcycles at Morrow Motocross • Dried flowers (2) • Whistle from my first lifeguarding job • Rivet from the jeans of and ex boyfriend
Ring from a gum ball machine from current boyfriend • MIP • Mickey mouse ears • Golf tee with name carved in it by ex boyfriend • Champagne glasses from Prom • Bottle caps from different beers and ales • High school diploma (2) • Newspaper articles (2) • Prom corsage
Bike license plate with name on it • Keys to car that got stolen • Colored pictures from kids I babysat • 2 dollar bills • Concert tee shirts • Tapes/articles of me playing sports (2) • Sorority stuff from first couple of years • Cheap plastic snake ring • Old splinter of wood from outdoor school • Souvenirs • Charms • Garbage Pail kids • Money
Photos of women I once knew • My graduation cap • An old necklace • Nerf Frisbee • Grateful Dead patch from concert • Expo ’86 commemorative coin • Flattened pennies • Fools gold • Lewis and Clark commemorative coin • Native American coins • Green glass vase from a friend • Coasters
Sports Illustrated binoculars • Fake earring • Wooden knife • Sand dollar • Miniature Seahawks football helmet • Portland Trailblazers bumper sticker • Magazines (2) • Sheet of 4 uncut $1 bills • $1,000 worth of shredded money • Golf balls from different places I’ve played • Old coins (2) • Wonderland prize tickets • Fly tying stuff
Scotch tape • Batteries • Candy bar from girlfriend six years ago • Baseball • Documents • Old Christmas stocking • Wedding planner • Engagement ring • Pictures and trinkets from cancer support group • Religious memorabilia • Scouting awards • Les Miserables program • Coloring books • Collection of stationary, erasers, pencils