Who am I? Or, even more curiously, who are you? These are questions about the self – that aspect of who we are that we believe defines, or at least describes, each of us. The self is not merely an internal creation, however. Family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances all contribute to who we are, and more importantly, they help to shape who we think we are.
In this innovative and thought-provoking book, the various social aspects of the self and its construction are imaginatively explored. Such explorations can seem abstractly academic, but they carry great significance. Knowledge of how the self is constructed has many implications for most social processes, for example, understanding the volatility of the notion of self that can provide the basis for terrorist radicalisation, can generate destructive suicidal tendencies, or can foment aggressive national identities. This interdisciplinary collection is relevant not only for theoretical and methodological elaborations, but also for more practical considerations. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of Contemporary Social Science, and two articles from Self and Identity.
Foreword David Canter
1. Contextualising the self in contemporary social science Charalambos Tsekeris
2. Self-construction and multiples modernities Vulca Fidolini
3. Selfhood and its pragmatic coherence in the context of social entropy: towards a new framework of the social self Jeff Vass
4. The dilemma of ‘the capable actor’ and the case of disrupted lives Kaisa Ketokivi and Mianna Meskus
5. The self in family coexistence: developing youth’s agency and prosociality Melissa Lopez Reyes and Katrina F. Resurreccion
6. Portraying the self in online contexts: context-driven and user-driven online identity profiles Mónica Aresta, Luis Pedro, Carlos Santos and António Moreira
7. ‘I have never cared for particular disciplines’ – negotiating an interdisciplinary self in biographical narrative Carlos Adrian Cuevas-Garcia
8. The Context-Sensitive Future Self: Possible Selves Motivate in Context, Not Otherwise Dapha Oyserman, Mesmin Destin, and Sheida Novin
9. Who Am I? How Asking the Question Changes the Answer Jean Guerrettaz and Robert M. Arkin
Contemporary Issues in Social Science is an interdisciplinary, international series, which provides a forum for disseminating and enhancing theoretical, empirical and/or pragmatic research across the social sciences and related disciplines. Reflecting the objectives of the Academy of Social Sciences, it emphasises the publication of work that engages with issues of major public interest and concern across the world, and highlights the implications of that work for policy and professional practice.