In recent years, the traditional psychoanalytic view of the self as an autonomous entity has been shifting to a more relational perspective. This evolution from a solely intrapsychic stance brings psychoanalysis closer to the viewpoint of social psychology, formerly a highly divergent discipline. Bridging these different literatures, THE RELATIONAL SELF describes the extent and meaning of these convergences.
The book is divided into four sections. The first two examine current perspectives from psychoanalytic self psychology and social psychology, and the latter two present an integration of psychoanalytic and social-personality approaches.
Part One reviews the psychoanalytic theories of character "structure" that focus upon identity maintenance, self-esteem regulation, and resistance to change. Also presented is an interactional view of the self that explores the intersubjective context of intrapsychic experience. Part Two shifts from the largely unconscious intrapsychic self to the self as affected by situational variables. Considered here are the relationship between self-image and attitudes, the social categories deemed by people as important to their identity, and the effects of physical relocation upon self-concept change.
Part Three presents a theory of the self with separate rational and experiential processing systems and also explores cultural influences on the self from a psychoanalytic vantage point. Part Four considers psychotherapy, self-verification, and self-concept change, including self-defeating behavior and self-consistency striving; the avoidance of self-awareness; self-evaluation maintenance; and self-with-other representations.
Bringing together the work of leading theorists in social, psychoanalytic, and personality psychology on the interaction of self-organization with the social and physical environment, THE RELATIONAL SELF fosters a better understanding of both situational and dispositional variables and a deeper appreciation of the changing theoretical sense of a relational self as the ultimate stage of development.
"This intriguing volume, exploring the interface of psychoanalytic and social psychological perspectives on the self, will enrich both disciplines. It is an important integrative effort made all the more so by its appreciation that the self can only be understood in context."--Paul Wachtel, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology, CUNY This intriguing volume, exploring the interface of psychoanalytic and social psychological perspectives on the self, will enrich both disciplines. It is an important integrative effort made all the more so by its appreciation that the self can only be understood in context.' --Paul Wachtel, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology, CUNY