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Week 10

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Marc A Fournier

Week 10 Lecture: The Life Story Overview of Week 10 Lectures Part I. Life-Story Formation Part II. Life-Story Integration Part III. Life-Story Revision Overview of Part I Life-Story Formation InfancyNarrative Tone ChildhoodImagery & Theme AdolescenceSetting & Character Dimensions of Human Existence Agency Focus on the self Formation of separations between the self and other things in the world Striving for self-expansion and self-elevation; to grow It reflects itself in the ideas of dominance, social rank and power Communion Focus on others Formation of connections Striving for contact and congregation with others There are two separate motivations; one is a fundamental striving to enhance and differentiate the self and the other complementary theme that strives to connect self to others These are meta-concepts; they cut across many concepts The Tone of Infancy Early infant-caregiver attachments serve to organize our experiences of trust vs. mistrust To rely on someone to satisfy our needs These early experiences of trust or mistrust produces this strength of hope This early orientation sets the tone of the life story you will ultimately write This tone is either going to be optimistic or pessimistic Erik EriksonHope: The enduring belief in the attainability of fervent wishes Optimistic stories (comedy & romance) Have a common ending = happy endings; things work out Pessimistic stories (tragedy & irony) Early Childhood Images The nursery school child is busy acquiring a stockpile of rich, emotionally laden images from family, school, the media, etc. Culturally grounded or sanctioned images provide raw material for later life-story development Children are coming into contact to the larger society that arent directly mediating through parents This is a time when the child is busy acquiring images from family, school, religious life etc These images becomes building blocks of the later life narrative Later Childhood Themes Children are now able to reason in story terms The elementary school child is able to organize human intentions into coherent stories with beginnings, middles, & endings As accounts of human intentions, stories tell what the characters are striving for Themes of separation & mastery (agency) Themes of union & solidarity (communion) The natural container for human intentions are stories; Intentions only unfold in story forms There is a deep contention in the human mind between stories and intentions Motivations are intentional characteristics; TAT to get people to write stories to know their motivations (from previous lecture) Adolescence & Ideological Settings During adolescence, the setting of the story is set The setting of the story is not geographical, it is ideological It is by adolescence that we see individuals striving to come to terms with what their ideological terms are The teenager seeks an internally consistent and logical system of beliefsvaluesi.e., an ideology It is when they ask questions that have moral connotation; what is good? What do I believe? The ideological setting answers the questions What is true? and What is good? Ideology of justice (agency)
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