Theories on Seth Identity – Part 2
November 20 2013
Self and Social Structure
• How does ‘where we are in society’ (ie. Our place within the broad social structure)
Affect our self and identity development process?
• Often times we take on ‘positions’ and we have to decide how to manage or negotiate
those meanings within an already established set of roles or expectations
How do we measure self-concept?
1. Self Esteem
• Our feelings of self-worth, which can be positive or negative
• It is ‘global or specific based on specific roles or spheres of life’
• We try to maintain a ‘consistent’ and ‘positive’ sense of self – motivated by the ‘self-
consistency and self esteem motive’
• What are the 4 sources of self-concept?
1. Social Comparisons
2. Reflected appraisals
3. Psychological centrality
• Similar to self-efficiency in that it is out ‘ability to control our environments’
• Self-fulfilling prophecy
• Mastery is developed through the interconnected relationship between:
o Personal accomplishments
Becoming really good at something, a strong skill (sports, academics,
o Verbal Persuasion
If you’re told you’re good or bad at something, trying to get you to
engage in different things.
o Emotional Arousal
3. Mattering • How do others feel about us, do we matter in their lives?
• The more we matter, the more integrated or stronger ties with have with society
Influence of ‘sociodemographic’ variable on self-identity development
• Earlier on the course we discussed the roles of gender, class and race and how these
variables can affect interactions with other, as well as our own self perceptions
• There characteristics can have an effect on master, but efforts of other
sociodemographic variables are more controversial
• All comprise out ‘social identity’
How does Group Process Theory look at Self and Identity Development?
• Recall our discussion last week about how identity is formed
• Identities arise “interactional encounters’ and are ‘subject to confirmation’ by other social
• Identities are affected by the roles we have and situations we are in, and accompanying
degrees of responsibilities
• Processes such a ‘categorization’ and ‘self enhancement’ affect how relationships in
groups and group identities, develop and sustain themselves
• Identities can be more or less salient depending on the context
• “…when social identities become salient, our relationship with and perceptions of people
in different categories of that identify will be competitive and discriminatory” (R.et al.,
2014: 143; Hogg and Ridgeway, 2003)
• The 1976 video, “if mirrors could speak- Self-image, self-esteem video PSA” approaches
the issues of self and identity development and the influence of social structure, group
processes and personality on children’s self-perceptions and self-esteem
o Other children saw them as