Drawing Life: Narratives and the Sense of Self

Overview

In Drawing Life, Thomas J. Cottle examines the ways people interpret their life experiences and construct meanings for the events they have encountered. In this manner, they discover their various identities and the essence of what we call the self. In reading the sixteen life studies contained in this volume, we encounter both inner reflections as well the power of culture to shape the meanings people give to their circumstances and the events that befall them. The stories also reflect the role of human ...

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Drawing Life: Narratives and the Sense of Self

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Overview

In Drawing Life, Thomas J. Cottle examines the ways people interpret their life experiences and construct meanings for the events they have encountered. In this manner, they discover their various identities and the essence of what we call the self. In reading the sixteen life studies contained in this volume, we encounter both inner reflections as well the power of culture to shape the meanings people give to their circumstances and the events that befall them. The stories also reflect the role of human relationships and social institutions in defining our personal identities and sense of justice. What makes us unique, therefore, is the personal story we tell as it reveals our constructions of the world and of ourselves. The stories recounted in Drawing Life illuminate not only our past, but also our perceptions of the present and our imaginings of the future. In this way, they become anthologies of our life experiences.

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Editorial Reviews

Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
His writing itself is music; a deft blend of passion and restraint, light and darkness, pain and life-giving humor.
Susan Cheever
Amazing, delicate, and blunt.
Philip Slater
No one writes about the everyday dreams, agonies, and situational realities of the young and oppressed with the perception and power of Thomas J. Cottle.
Ashley Montagu
[Thomas J. Cottle] is a very good writer, who reminds one very much of James Agee, magically sensitive, and with a skill in rendering the poignancy of the captured moment.
Jerome Kagan
Once again Tom Cottle has used his lively style to remind us of the full depth of the human experience and force reflection on the ethical stance we would like to see penetrate our fragmented society.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761862222
  • Publisher: Hamilton Books
  • Publication date: 11/21/2013
  • Pages: 316
  • Sales rank: 1,053,484
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

A sociologist and clinical psychologist, Thomas J. Cottle is currently professor of education at Boston University. He is the author of more than thirty books including At Peril: Stories of Injustice, Hardest Times: The Trauma of Long-Term Unemployment, When the Music Stopped: Discovering My Mother, A Sense of Self: The Work of Affirmation, and Beyond Self-Esteem: Narratives of Self-Knowledge and Devotion.

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Table of Contents

CONTENTS

Preface
Acknowledgments

I. STORIES OF ADULTS
On Narratives and the Sense of Self
The Abandoner
Do You See Me as a Human Being or Just Another Black Face?
No Way to Look But Back
Jacob and Millie Portman
A Woman Named Sarah Clark Keller
Marcus Nathaniel Simpson: If the Lord Has Patience, I’ve Got a Future
Professors

II. STORIES OF CHILDREN
Adolescent as Story Teller: The Case of Anorexia Nervosa
The Young and their Prophets
They Got Anger Pushing ‘Em in One Direction, Fright Pushing ‘Em in Another
The Evils of Testing and Tracking
The Bedroom of Sheila Cooperton
A Child to be Envied
Mind Shadows
Just a Memory

III. EPILOGUE
The Value of Stories: Applications for Research and Healing

Bibliography

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