Social Psychology: Sociological Perspectives

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Transcript Social Psychology: Sociological Perspectives

Social Psychology:
Sociological Perspectives
David E. Rohall
Melissa A. Milkie
Jeffrey W. Lucas
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Social Psychology:
Sociological Perspectives
Chapter 5: Self and Identity
The Sociology of Self and Identity
Sociologists rarely study personality per
se, but the self, self-concept, and identities
The self is a process in which we
construct a sense of who we are through
interaction with others
The self process at a given point in time is
the self-concept
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
Dimensions of the self
Scholars examining the self-concept focus
on self-identities, the kind of person we
see ourselves as and self-evaluations,
the judgments we make of ourselves
Three self-evaluations often studied
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: The Self as a Process
From the symbolic interactionist
perspective, the self is a process, just like
the construction of any social reality
We give meaning to our self in many
different ways during our interactions with
others by asking the questions like:
Are we good or bad people?
How well do we do the tasks we set out to do?
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: The I and the Me
We use symbols and language to
communicate with other people, but we
also use language to think internally, a
process Herbert Blumer calls selfindication
According to George Herbert Mead, a
large part of our internal dialogue occurs
as interplay between the Me, the
organized set of attitudes toward the self,
and the I, our active self
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: Identity and Identity Theory
Identity refers to our internalized, stable
sense of who we are, including role
identities, social categories, and personal
Identity theory examines the ways
society shapes how we view ourselves,
and how those views, or identities, affect
our behavior
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: Principles of Identity Theory
Identity theory is rooted on five basic
Behavior is based on an already classified
Positions in society are among the things
People develop their identities based on their
positions in society
We incorporate our social positions into our
sense of identity
Social behavior is derived from the shaping
and modifying of the expectations of our
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: Emotions and Identities
David Heise’s affect-control theory
incorporates elements of identity theory; it
states that emotions serve as signals about
how well we are producing our identities
Congruence between our self-perceived
identity and the information we receive
about ourselves generally produces positive
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: Dramaturgical Sociology
From an interactionist perspective,
individuals have the ability to choose how
to act, above-and-beyond their inclinations
The study of how we present ourselves,
playing roles and managing impressions
during interactions with other people, is
called dramaturgical sociology
Dramaturgical sociology is most closely
associated with Erving Goffman (1922–
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: Goffman and Impression
Erving Goffman believed that we use
information from others’ presentations to
help establish expectations of our behavior
and that of the people around us
Impression management refers to the
ways individuals seek to control the
impressions they convey to other people,
however, there are impressions given
and impressions given off—the
impression you believe that you are giving
and the impression the other person has of
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: Motivations Behind Impression
Goffman argued that we are driven to
maintain positive impressions, probably
because outcomes of interactions serve as
a source of self-esteem
Supporting others’ impressions is
important because we may need support
in our own impression management efforts
later in the interaction
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: Regions of Impression Formation
There are two regions of impression
formation that affect how we interact with
people: The front stage, the place where
we present ourselves to others, and the
backstage, the region where we relax our
impression management efforts and we
may practice our performances
People regularly move in and out of these
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SI: The Situated Self
In the interactionist framework, the self
changes as quickly as our social
Social forces like globalization and
technological advances lead to rapid
changes in our social worlds
Scholars to argue that we have a much
more situated self, a temporally based
sense of who we are, associated with a
lack of clear sense of identity
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SSP: The Self and Social Structure
Scholars from the social structure and
personality perspective focus on how our
social positions and relationships affect our
Researchers from this tradition often study
the relationship between social positions
and the self-concept in the form of selfesteem, mastery, and mattering
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SSP: Evaluative Dimensions of the Self
Three of the most studies forms of the selfconcept include self-esteem, mastery, and
Self-esteem is the positive or negative
evaluation of our self as an object
Mastery refers to our perceptions of our
ability to control our environments
Mattering refers to our sense that we are
important to other people in the world
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SSP: Self-Esteem
Self-esteem is considered a foundational
aspect of the self; it answers the question:
How good am I?
There are four sources of the self-concept,
including self-esteem:
Social comparisons
Reflected appraisals
Psychological centrality
Research generally shows that reflected
appraisal are most central to our selfesteem
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SSP: Mastery
Mastery addresses the question: How
powerful am I to do the things I would like
to do?
Personal accomplishments are the most
important source of efficacy in adulthood
Several studies show that higher levels of
mastery is associated with fewer mental
and physical health problems
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SSP: Mattering
Mattering answers the question: How
much do I matter to others?
Morris Rosenberg argued that we have an
intrinsic need to feel that we are needed
by the people around us
Research show that mattering is positively
related to self-esteem and negatively
related to depression and anxiety
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SSP: Measuring the Self-Concept
SSP scholars rely on a number of common
methods to assess the self-concept
Manford Kuhn’s Twenty-Statements Test
(TST) is a popular way to measure the self
Morris Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem Scale is a
popular method of assessing self-esteem
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SSP: Class and Self-Esteem
Rosenberg and Pearlin (1978) used data
from surveys of children, adolescents, and
adults from Baltimore and Chicago to
compare levels of self-esteem at different
class levels
The researchers found that social class
position begins to affect self-esteem as
children enter adolescence, when
occupation, income, and education
become more important to one’s identity
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
SSP: Ethnicity and Self-Identities
Ethnicity not only affects self-evaluations, it
is an integral to self-identities
Joanne Nagel (1995), for instance, found
that there were very large increase in the
number of residents identifying themselves
as “American Indian” in the 1970s and
1980s yet there had been no increase in
She found that societal changes made
being of American Indian ancestry less
stigmatized and more acceptable, leading
more people to accept that identity
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
GP: Identity and Group Processes
Groups serve as a way to establish and
maintain our sense of self
Groups can also serve to give you an
identity that is a collective one
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
GP: Social Identity Theory
Social identity theory argues that we
carry self-definitions that match all the
categories to which we belong
In the theory, these self-definitions are
called social identities
Originally developed in psychology, social
identity theory proposes that our social
identities describe to us who we are,
provide us with information about how to
behave, and tell us how we should
evaluate other people
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
GP: Social Identity Theory and
Social identity theory says that we will
perceive ourselves according to that
identity and behave in ways that are
stereotypical of that identity
We also engage in a process of
categorization, the process through which
we draw sharp dividing lines between
group membership categories and assign
people to relevant categories
Once categorized, we engage in selfenhancement, the process through which
we make comparisons that favor our group
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007
Chapter 5: Bringing It All Together
The three perspectives in social
psychology approach the study of self and
identity in different ways
Interactionists emphasize how our sense of
self is actively constructed
Social structure and personality scholars
focus on the ways that our social positions
impact the self-concept
Group processes work emphasize the
important role of group memberships in our
sense of identity
Copyright (c) Allyn Bacon 2007