Self, Identity, and Social Institutions

Overview

This book shows how the individual constructs a self from the thousands of colloquial identities provided by a society’s culture, and reveals how the individual actualizes and sustains an integrated and stable self while navigating the sometimes treacherous waters of everyday institutional life. MacKinnon and Heise identify a cultural theory of people that is implicit in the semantics of identity-nouns and outline how that theory functions in everyday life and the development of the self; the book identifies ...

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Overview

This book shows how the individual constructs a self from the thousands of colloquial identities provided by a society’s culture, and reveals how the individual actualizes and sustains an integrated and stable self while navigating the sometimes treacherous waters of everyday institutional life. MacKinnon and Heise identify a cultural theory of people that is implicit in the semantics of identity-nouns and outline how that theory functions in everyday life and the development of the self; the book identifies major social institutions through network analysis of identity semantics, and it develops a cybernetic model of self-process wherein individuals re-confirm their self-sentiments after participating in disconfirming institutional roles, balancing one inauthenticity with another.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is the most comprehensive treatment of self and identity I have seen in a very long time. The clear, incisive, and evenhanded exposition by two master theoreticians and researchers should be in every social psychologist’s library—students and seasoned professionals alike.”—Timothy J. Owens, Associate Professor of Sociology, Purdue University

"This book is a broad, powerful statement of a new cybernetic theory of self and identity.  It builds on earlier theoretical work in affect control theory, but is a distinct contribution at a different (higher) level of analysis. It also includes a cultural theory of people that operates at a more cognitive level, and proposes a new methodology for locating and describing institutions. This is a major new work."—Lynn Smith-Lovin, Robert L. Wilson Professor of Sociology, Duke University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230621794
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 4/15/2010
  • Pages: 278
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil J. MacKinnon is Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Emeritus, at the University of Guelph in Canada, and an adjunct member of the graduate faculty at the University of Waterloo. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada has awarded him a series of grants, funding his research over a period of decades. He has also been a fellow of the Canada Council. His book, Symbolic Interactionism as Affect Control (1994), is an authoritative presentation on affect control theory. He has published numerous articles in sociological journals, and he has served two terms on the editorial board of Social Psychology Quarterly.

David R. Heise is Rudy Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, at Indiana University. During the 1970s and 1980s, he published a number of books on statistics and sociology, and edited two methodology periodicals. He has also served on the editorial boards of five journals, including Social Psychology Quarterly. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Research Fellow with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and a recipient of Distinguished Career awards in three sections of the American Sociological Association. His book, Expressive Order, was published in 2007, and his book entitled Surveying Cultures was published in 2010.

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Table of Contents

Cultural Theories of People
• Identities in Standard English
• Language and Social Institutions
• The Cultural Self
• The Self’s Identities
• Theories of Identities and Selves
• Theories of Norms and Institutions
• Social Reality and Human Subjectivity

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