To prepare for this discussion, please read Chapters 2 and 3 of your (Feenstra, 2013). In addition, read (Adams and Markus, 2001) and (Markus and Kitayama, 1991). Finally, review Instructor Guidance and Announcements. In this discussion, you will consider patterns that have shaped your sense of self. Be sure to use your own academic voice and apply in-text citations appropriately throughout your post. Post your initial response of 250 words or more
The study of the self is an important area of research within psychology and sociology. Scholars have developed various theories and concepts to understand how individuals develop their sense of self and how it is influenced by cultural, social, and personal factors. This discussion will focus on the patterns that have shaped our sense of self, as well as various theories that have been put forward to explain these patterns.
One influential theory that has been developed to explain how culture shapes the self is the Cultural Syndromes Theory (CST) proposed by Markus and Kitayama (1991). This theory argues that individualistic cultures, such as those found in Western societies, promote a view of the self as independent and autonomous, whereas collectivistic cultures, such as those found in East Asian societies, promote a view of the self as interdependent and connected to others.
According to CST, individuals from individualistic cultures tend to prioritize personal goals and desires and value independence, uniqueness, and personal achievement. In contrast, individuals from collectivistic cultures prioritize the goals and needs of the group, value harmony, conformity, and social relationships. These cultural differences in self-construal manifest in various aspects of life, including beliefs, values, behaviors, and interpersonal relationships.
Another important theory that sheds light on the patterns that shape our sense of self is the Self-Categorization Theory (SCT) proposed by Turner et al. (1987). This theory argues that individuals categorize themselves into different social groups, and their sense of self is shaped by their identification with these groups. SCT distinguishes between personal identity, which is based on individual characteristics and unique attributes, and social identity, which is based on group membership and shared characteristics with others.
According to SCT, individuals gain a sense of self-worth and belonging by identifying with social groups that they perceive to be positively distinct from other groups. These groups can be based on various factors, such as nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, or occupation. People’s sense of self is influenced by the norms, values, beliefs, and behaviors associated with these groups, and they may experience positive self-esteem when their group is positively evaluated and negative self-esteem when their group is negatively evaluated.
In addition to cultural and social factors, personal experiences and life events also play a crucial role in shaping our sense of self. One aspect of personal experience that has been found to influence the self is the experience of discrimination or stigma. Research has shown that individuals who have experienced discrimination or stigma based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, or other aspects of their identity may develop negative self-perceptions and lower self-esteem.
For example, Adams and Markus (2001) examined the experiences of African American college students and found that those who reported experiencing subtle or overt racial discrimination had poorer mental health and lower academic performance compared to those who did not report such experiences. These findings highlight the importance of considering personal experiences of discrimination and stigma when examining the patterns that shape our sense of self.
In conclusion, the sense of self is shaped by various patterns, including cultural, social, and personal factors. The Cultural Syndromes Theory and Self-Categorization Theory provide frameworks for understanding how culture and social group membership influence our sense of self. Personal experiences, particularly experiences of discrimination and stigma, also play a significant role in shaping our self-perceptions and self-esteem. By understanding these patterns, we can gain insight into the complex processes that contribute to the development of our sense of self.