Relational Being: Beyond Self and Communityby Kenneth J. Gergen
Pub. Date: 09/01/2011
Publisher: Oxford University Press
This book builds on two current developments in psychology scholarship and practice. The first centers on broad discontent with the individualist tradition in which the rational agent, or autonomous self, is considered the fundamental atom of social life. Critique of individualism spring not only from psychologists working in the academy, but also from communities
This book builds on two current developments in psychology scholarship and practice. The first centers on broad discontent with the individualist tradition in which the rational agent, or autonomous self, is considered the fundamental atom of social life. Critique of individualism spring not only from psychologists working in the academy, but also from communities of therapy and counseling. The second, and related development from which this work builds, is the search for alternatives to individualist understanding. Thus, therapists such as Steve Mitchell, along with feminists at the Stone Center, expand the psychoanalytic tradition to include a relational orientation to therapy.
The present volume will give voice to the critique of individualism, but its major thrust is to develop and illustrate a far more radical and potentially exciting landscape of relational thought and practice that now exists. Most existing attempts to build a relational foundation remain committed to a residual form of individualist psychology. The present work carves out a space of understanding in which relational process stands prior to the very concept of the individual. More broadly, the book attempts to develop a thoroughgoing relational account of human activity. In doing so, Gergen reconstitutes 'the mind' as a manifestation of relationships and bears out these ideas in a range of everyday professional practices, including family therapy, collaborative classrooms, and organizational psychology.
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Table of Contents
Prologue: Toward a New Enlightenment
Part I: From Bounded to Relational Being
Chapter 1 - Bounded Being Self as Abuse Fundamental Isolation Unrelenting Evaluation The Search for Self-Esteem Self and Other Distrust and Derogation Relationships as Artifi ce The Culture of Bounded Being The Costs of Calculation Public Morality as Nuisance Transforming Tradition
Chapter 2 - In the Beginning Is the Relationship Co-Action and Creation The Co-Creation of Everything Co-Action and Constraint Multiplicity and Malleability Relational Flow: Failing and Flourishing From Causality to Confl uence
Chapter 3 - The Relational Self Being Unbound The Very Idea of Self-Knowledge Call in the Experts From Mind to Relationship Mind as Action in Relationship Reason as Relationship Agency: Intention as Action Experience and Memory: Not Mine but Ours Creativity as Relational Achievement
Chapter 4 - The Body as Relationship: Emotion, Pleasure, and Pain The Emotions in History and Culture The Dance of the Emotions Relational Scenarios Disrupting Dangerous Dances Aren't the Emotions Biological?
Bodily Pleasure: The Gift of Co-Action Pain: The Final Challenge
Part II: Relational Being in Everyday Life
Chapter 5 - Multi-Being and the Adventures of Everyday Life Multi-Being Early Precursors: Depth Psychology Contemporary Precursors: Living with Others Critique and Coherence Picturing Multi-Being Coordination: The Challenge of Flight Meeting and Mutuality Sustenance and Suppression Everyday Perils: Relations Among Relations Counter-Logics and Relational Deterioration The Arts of Coordination Understanding: Synchrony in Action Affirmation: The Birth and Restoration of Collaboration Appreciative Exploration
Chapter 6 - Bonds, Barricades, and Beyond The Thrust Toward Bonding Cementing Bonds Negotiating the Real and the Good Narrative: From Self to Relationship The Enchanting of "We"
Bonding and Boundaries Relational Severing Erosion of the Interior: United We Fall The Tyranny of Truth From Erosion to Annihilation Beyond the Barricades Hot Confl ict and Transformative Dialogue The Public Conversations Project Narrative Mediation Restorative Justice
Part III Relational Being in Professional Practice
Chapter 7 - Knowledge as Co-Creation Knowledge as Communal Construction Disturbing Disciplines Pervasive Antagonism Discipline and Debilitation The Elegant Suffi ciency of Ignorance Knowledge: For Whose Benefit?
Toward Transcending Disciplines Interweaving Disciplines The Emerging Hybrids The Return of the Public Intellectual Writing as Relationship Writing in the Service of Relationship Writing as a Full Self Scholarship as Performance Research as Relationship Relational Alternatives in Human Research Narrative Inquiry: Entry into Otherness Action Research: Knowing With
Chapter 8 - Education in a Relational Key Aims of Education Revisited Circles of Participation Relational Pedagogy in Action Circle 1: Teacher and Student Circle 2: Relations Among Students Collaborative Classrooms Collaborative Writing Circle 3: Classroom and Community Community Collaboration Cooperative Education Service Learning Circle 4: The Classroom and the World Circles Unceasing
Chapter 9 - Therapy as Relational Recovery Therapy in Relational Context The Social Genesis of "the Problem"
The Origins of Therapeutic Solutions Relational Consequences of Therapy A Contemporary Case: Mind and Meds Therapy: The Power of Coordinated Action Rejection and Affi rmation Suspending Realities Realities Replaced Expanding the Therapeutic Repertoire From Fixed Reality to Relational Flow Beyond Language: The Challenge of Effective Action
Chapter 10 - Organizing: The Precarious Balance Organizing: Life Through Affi rmation Beware the Organization Suppression of Voices The Organization Against Itself Separation from Cultural Context Decision-Making as Relational Coordination Polyphonic Process: Lifting Every Voice Decision-Making Through Appreciative Inquiry From Leadership to Relational Leading From Evaluation to Valuation The Organization-in-the-World
Part IV From the Moral to the Sacred
Chapter 11- Morality: From Relativism to Relational Responsibility The Challenge of Moral Conduct Immorality Is Not the Problem Moralities Are the Problem Toward Second-Order Morality Relational Responsibility in Action From Co-Existence to Community Beyond the Beginning
Chapter 12 - Approaching the Sacred Metaphors of the Relational The Procreative Act Systems Theory Actor Networks Distributed Cognition Biological Interdependence Process Philosophy The Buddha Dharma: Inter-Being The Sacred Potential of Relational Being Toward Sacred Practice
Epilogue: The Coming of Relational Consciousness
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