Wednesday, Nov. 14 2012
The Challenge of Social Change
Sampson, Views of Self
→ Premodern: Person defined by social context, roles (religious community, spouses,
- Instead of talking about a person by name, we would talk about them by their role
and position in society and that would define who they are.
→ Modern: 15 to 16 century. Liberal, self-contained individual. Identity separate from and
prior to membership in social group. Possessive individualism.
- Allowed people to break out of the role defining sense of self. Free to define yourself
in ways that you thought belonged to you and could assign yourself to certain
Psychology emerged in the modern period.
→ Postmodern: Post-industrial, information-based, globally linked. (Harr ́, Gergen, Tajfel,
- This idea of self is not correct. We need to modify our sense of self and who we think
we are, and according to Sampson, psychology needs to modify itself as well.
→ “Psychology has not seen its role to be that of discovering what theory of the person it
currently espouses, how that theory conforms to a particular kind of social and historical
order, how changes in that social and historical order will require a new theory of the
person, and especially how a central role f