The Self Arises in Communication with Others Self-fulfilling prophecies involve acting in ways that bring about our expectations or judgments of ourselves.
The Self Arises in Communication with Others • Communication with family • Direct definition is communication that explicitly tells us who we are by labeling us and our behaviors. • Identity scripts are guides for living that define our roles and how we are to play them. • Attachment styles are patterns of parenting that tell children who they are, who others are, and how to approach relationships.
Attachment Styles • A secure style occurs when the caregiver responds in a consistently attentive and loving way. • A fearful style is cultivated when the caregiver in the first bond communicates in negative, rejecting, or abusive ways to the child. • A dismissive style is promoted by caregivers who are disinterested, rejecting, or abusive. • The anxious/resistant style is inconsistent treatment from the caregiver.
Views of Self Positive Negative Secure Anxious/ Resistant Positive Views of Others Dismissive Fearful Negative
The Self Arises in Communication with Others • Communication with peers • Reflected appraisal refers to the idea that we reflect the appraisals that others make of us. • Social comparison involves comparing ourselves with others to form judgments of our own talents, abilities, and qualities.
Influences on Self-Concept Self-Concept
The Self Arises in Communication with Others • Communication with society • The perspectives of society (generalized other) are revealed to us in two ways: • Through interactions with others who have internalized cultural values and pass them on to us • Through media and social institutions such as judicial and educational systems
The self arises in communication and is a multidimensional process that involves importing and acting from social perspectives.
The Self is Multidimensional • There are many dimensions to self: • Physical • Cognitive • Emotional • Social roles • Sense of morality
The Self is a Process • We are not born with selves but acquire them. We change again and again during life. We are self renewing and ever growing. • Ego boundaries define where an individual stops and the rest of the world begins. • Babies literally have no ego boundaries.
The Self Internalizes Social Perspectives • We rely on social perspectives to define ourselves and to guide how we think, act, and feel. • Particular others are specific individuals who are significant to us. • The generalized other is the collection of rules, roles, and attitudes endorsed by the whole social community in which we live.
Social Perspectives on the Self are Constructed and Variable • Social perspectives are constructed in particular cultures at specific times. • The constructed and arbitrary nature of social values differs from culture to culture. • Just as our culture shapes us, so we shape our culture. • Each of us has the responsibility to speak out against social perspectives that we perceive as wrong or harmful.
Guidelines for Improving Self-Concept • Make a firm commitment to change. • Gain knowledge as a basis for change. • Set goals that are realistic and fair.
Guidelines for Improving Self-Concept • Create a context that supports change. • Uppers are people who communicate positively about us and who reflect positive appraisals of our self-worth. • Downers are people who communicate negatively about us and our self-worth. • Vultures are an extreme form of downers. • Self-sabotage involves telling ourselves we are no good, we can’t do something, there is no point, etc.
Experiencing Communication in our Lives . . . View the following video clip and then answer the questions that follow based on material presented in this chapter. A script of the scenario can be found at the end of Chapter 3.
Identify examples of direct definition in this scenario. • Identify examples of reflected appraisal. What appraisals of her son and daughter does Kate reflect to them? • What do Emma and Jeremy’s responses to Kate suggest about their acceptance of her views of them? • To what extent does Kate’s communication with her children reflect gender expectations in Western culture? • You may go to your student CD that accompanies the text to compare your answers to Julia Wood’s.