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PSYC 215
Donald Taylor

PSYCH 215 Lecture Oct 28 Self-Concept Structure (last class)  Need collective identity in order to form personal o Am I tall? Must compare with group you belong to.  Higgins: when asks someone about ideal self, where do you get this? By and large from their group or collective identity  Group specifies what is valued, what you should be, what you should aim for  Even if personal values/ self is slightly different from group, acknowledge group opinion  EX. Want to be a rock and roll star. Forming it on basis of my culture, and in most families of my group you strive for the best, even though you must be doctor or lawyer  Aware that my group may not find my ideal self legitimate- helps you locate self  When you say: I want to be a great rock and roll star. Must add “No, I’m serious” no need when saying you want to be a doctor  Primacy comes from you can never understand who you are personally unless you have framework  We have a variety of collective identities: man woman, athlete, and scholar: which ones count?  Must important that serves primacy function: our cultural collective identity. Why?  Culture is the one and only one that covers EVERYTHING: what you’re supposed to be and strive for, what is valued, social relations, money, what is success “from cradle to grave”  No other collective group identity that covers that o Religion: cradle to grave undertaking o Not first because it is not always the case that an individual will have an affinity for a religion o Sometimes culture and religion is one in the same o Culture you cannot escape, stuck with it o Religion is thus, the only competitor to cultural identity o Everything else is subservient to cultural identity o Cultural identity defines how you must behave within groups o Some groups we belong to are only supposed to be influential in certain environments: work environment is gender neutral with respect to attitude ect. If used in work, it would be inappropriate o We feel close to all our other groups too- sometimes don’t even know WHAT our cultural identity is o Mainstream group- what am I, Canadian, westerner? o Maybe I don’t have one- that’s why I may be jealous of Italian friends, they know who they are o They seem to have something I don’t have o Even when its not so clear to us that it is important: ITS THERE o It’s unconscious- you can prime culture without realizing o EX. In experiment, before students do experiment they sit in front of computer screen with fish floating by, others get fish on screen. At the end, peoples’ competitive attitudes are much higher when dollar signs go by than fish. o OR backpacks vs. composite briefcase- primes standards and status o Imagine extent to which culture is relevant  Cultural identity starts the process of forming a healthy self  In the end we want people to have a clear cultural collective identity- not ones better than other, must be clear to be a useful reference  Clear collective identity allows for a clear personal identity  Once you have clear personal identity (Answers who am I) then you can determine if you’re any good  Take away collective identity which is at top of self, structure collapses  Even if you have clear collective identity, doesn’t guarantee anything: other places there may be breakdowns, perception of identity may be off track, needs may be so defensive we can’t confront reality  What do we do groups with society that a struggling? Groups that aren’t getting ahead in terms of what society consider getting ahead. Underachieving academically, underrepresented o Start at top- not to convince people that they belong to wonderful group (like Oprah would do) ask what is your group? What do you stand for? o EX. Canada’s Aboriginal peoples- have had heritage cultural identity destroyed by colonization, we have romantic vision of such people as one with the land, not tried to material objects- drop out rate 85% across Canada- wake up with nothing to do, no sense of direction o Can’t fix my house- white contractors do it, government doesn’t allow us. Don’t pay for our house, children are paid to go with you and babysitter paid to go with you o EX. Poor people- hard working good folk, WRONG. Don’t see reality. o EX. Afro-American in US- slavery does a lot of things to people, rips out integri
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