Saturday, September 1, 2007

Incomplete Draft 1 Social Self

--> add introduction here <--

Social Roles
Within life we give ourselves a number of titles which are also known as social roles. A Social role according to James, Witte, Galbraith (2006) is an expectation of a behaviour, attitude or function in which a position in society holds. I play a number of social roles that contribute to my social identity. Within my family environment some of my roles include sister, daughter, cousin and niece. Within the community, my social roles are diverse and include a citizen, church member, friend, neighbour, and student. Most of these roles remain constant throughout my life; however, roles can change daily or over time. These social roles are important as they put in place scripts about how to behave in certain situations.

Social Categorisation
Within these social roles, according to Baumeister & Bushman (2008) humans have a natural tendency to divide themselves into groups. The social categorisation theory proposes that society influences individual identity (Goa, 2007). These social groups are established based on a shared identity with other group members (Rogers & Lea, 2005). Shared identities may include gender, race, religion, values and beliefs. Rogers & Lea (2005) state that these communalities are based not interpersonal relations between individuals (such as liking someone), but are based around the common factor. Social categorisation occurs when I Place myself into groups that are either 'me' (in-groups) or 'not me' (out-groups) (Kashima, Foddy & Platow, 2002).

The most obvious example of this is being female. From this personal attribute I clearly distinguish myself from being male. I have various other social groups in my life that contribute to my social identity, such as my race. My mother is Tongan and my father is Australian. Therefore, I am connected in various ways to the Tongan community and the Australian community. However, living in Australia I tend to identify myself more with Australians. This observation ** supports Kashima, Foddy & Platow’s (2002) claim that social categorisation differs depending on context. Again, a clear distinction has been made between me (who I am) and any other race that is not either Tongan or Australian (not me).

My values and beliefs are another area of my life where social categorisation is evident. Being a Christian I have similar morals and values to many other Christians. Placing myself in the Christian category, produces the statement that I am Christian and I am not Atheist or Agnostic. My family has also instilled in me certain values and priorities which connects me to or disconnect me from a vast number of groups. Categorisations determine who I am, and who I am not in society. Impacting on my cognitions and can be seen in action via my social roles and self presentation.

Social Comparison
The self comparison theory that was proposed by Festinger in 1954, suggests that we compare our abilities and opinions with others (Chien- Huang & Chia-Ching, 2007). Vaughan & Hogg (2005) go as far as stating that our cognitions, emotions and behaviours are formulated around the behaviours, emotions and cognitions of other people. This concept is personally confronting but at the same time very real. Social comparison can be made in order to validate oneself and is more likely to occur when insecurity is present (Chien- Huang & Chia-Ching, 2007). Social comparison can be used to enhance, validate, improve or destruct one’s social identity, depending on the direction of the comparison (Chien- Huang & Chia-Ching, 2007).

On a personal level, social comparisons have an impact on my social identity. I often associate and make comparison with those who are like me. These similarities are mainly found in those who have the same interests and those who are of the same background (i.e. Tongan and Australian). I would describe myself as generally optimistic, happy, caring, honest, open, humerous and passionate. These descriptions are based on my comparison of myself with people who I interact with regularly. When comparing myself to someone like Mother Theresa, I wouldn’t consider myself as caring as initially described.

The same goes for my social class, I consider myself to be middle class. This concept of myself would change depending on context and geographical location. Yet in the context of my current situation and context, I consider myself to be similar to those around me. Other comparisons manifest themselves in physical attractiveness and fitness. Being a female in today*s society I find it hard to avoid physical comparisons. Western culture focuses on stereotypical form of attractiveness, which I do not fit ***. That being said, I join social groups with those who are not overly concerned with appearance.

Self Presentation
Social comparisons can give positions or places in society and contribute to the types of groups we which associate **. The labels I give myself, as a result of these positive or negative comparisons, are instilled in my cognitions. Self presentation, allows me to either hide or promote these characteristics from society. Fiske (2004) claims that we present ourselves differently depending on how we want others to perceive us. Fiske (2004) defines 5 common forms of self presentations which include integration, self promotion, intimidation, exemplification and supplication.

Self presentation for me *** assists in gaining approval about my social self by peers, friends, family and other social groups. Through using the looking glass self, I imagine how others view me. When I first meet someone I am generally quiet and reserved. My looking glass self tells me that if I’m loud and rude at first, the other person might think I’m terrible company. After becoming acquainted I tend to open up more and become more active in the social situation. This is another form of social presentation because I don’t want to be considered boring and unexciting.

--> Add more here<-- Culture

Finally, my cultural background also has influence on my social identity. In contrast with Australia, an individualistic culture (Malim, 1997), **Tonga has a collectivist culture (Malim, 1997). Living in Australia, the western culture has dominated my social interactions in the community. My Tongan heritage, on the other hand, has more on an influence of my family interactions. I believe it is from my Tongan background that I have developed an interdependent self. Myers (2008) suggests that interdependent people define themselves by their social connections. This concept of culture extends from my cultural heritage, to various aspects of my life.

--> Add more here <-- -->Add Conclusion here<-- ***Note*** link of difinitions still to be added Hyperlinks still to be added Reformat reference list
Table to be added

Baumeister, R. F., & Bushman, B. J. (2008). Social psychology and human nature (1st ed.) Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.

Chien-Huang, L. & Chia- Ching, T. (2007). Comparison conditions, comparison patterns and models of comparative behaviour. Social Behaviour and Personality, 35(6), 761-776

Goa, C. D. (2007). Social identity theory and the reduction of inequality: can cross cutting categorization reduce inequality in mixed race groups? Social Behaviour and Personality, 35(4), 537-550

Fiske, S. T. (2004). The self: Social to the core. In S. T. Fiske (2004). Social beings: A core motives approach to social psychology. (Ch 5, pp. 169 - 214). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley

James, W. B., Witte, J.E., & Galbraith, M. W. (2006). Havighurst’s social roles revisited. Journal of Adult Development, 13(1). 52-60.

Malim, T. (1997). Social Psychology.( 2nd Ed). Wiltshire. Macmillan press Ltd

Kashima, Y., Foddy, M. & Platow, M. J. (2002), Self and Identity. Personal, Social and Symbolic. New Jersey: Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

Myers, D. G. (2008). Social Psychology (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill

Rogers, P. & Lea, M. Social presence in distributed group environments: the role of social identity. Behaviour &amp; Information Technology, 24(2). 151-158

Vaughan, G.M. & Hogg, M. A. (2005). Introduction into Social Psychology (4th ed.) Harlow: Pearson Education

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Life. be in it!

Does anyone remember the 'Life. be in it!' campaign. With good old 'Norm'

I thought this campaign would be interesting for those who are doing attitude change, because of the recent campaign relaunch. I wonder if the relaunch because of the success the campaign had in the past?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Getting down to the nitty gritty

Hi everyone, Well its taken me a while to get this map on here so that you can view it. If you click on it, you should be able to see a larger version of it. My concept map was developed after reading Fiske's (2004) chapter on The Self. I have used the map to developed visual representation of some concepts described in the chapter. The map helps me understand how these concepts relate to each other. This is a starting point for my final blog1, it gives me some bearings of where I need to go from here. For my final blog1 I think I need to focus towards factors of my social identity. The factors in concept map all connect to my social identity, however I think the map only shows a small section of a very big picture. I think the process now is going from concepts to examples. I'm trying not to over complicate things.

Here are a few random bits and pieces Ive round around the place that I might be able to use somewhere.

  • Social Identity- A person's definition of who they are, including personal and shared attributes with others. (Baron & Byrne, 2004)
  • Tajfel and Turner 1979- Social Identity Theory- it includes Categorization (i.e male, female, christian, Muslim), identification (member of a group, links self concept) and comparison (between us and others-links to self esteem).
  • Social and individual identity integration- heritage, culture, upbringing, society.
  • Looking glass self- seeing our self through the eyes of others, - links to self presentation
  • Social roles- sister, daughter, friend, student ect
Hopefully I can try and get a bit more structure into this different aspects. Well back to the drawing board for me.

Baron, R. A & Byrne, D. (2004). Social Psychology. (10th ed). United States of America. Pearson Education, Inc

Fiske, S. T. (2004). The self: Social to the core. In S. T. Fiske (2004). Social beings: A core motives approach to social psychology. (Ch 5, pp. 169 - 214). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Please don't ask me how ideas for my blog ended up being a story about shoes!!!!!

In 1985 a mother gave birth to a strong, healthy baby. At this point in her life the baby had 1 major thing that contributed to her existence. That was her family. Her family fed her, clothed her, and nurtured her. As the baby grew older, she learnt to walk, talk and do things for herself. As years went by she realised that in many ways she was similar to her family and in many ways she was different to her family. She began to realise that there was more to life than just her and family.

As she grew up and made friends she found that they did things differently to her? Little things such as the way they brushed their teeth and how they eat dinner, fascinated her. A few more years went by and she realised that she started thinking about things more. She had opinions, values, ethics, and beliefs that were either slightly or enormously different to her friends or family’s opinions. She also realised her opinions and values changed as time went by.

During high school she became concerned about the way she looked, and the way she did things and soon discovered, it was easier to be normal. She was confused as what ‘normal’ was, but played it cool anyway, because everyone else seemed to know what ‘normal’ was. After a few years of being ‘normal’ she decided that being normal was like putting on high heels and having to wear them all day. So instead she settled with just being herself and soon discovered that being herself was like wearing thongs all day, comfortable and free. Then she realised that if she was herself all time she might be considered far from normal, also know as ‘a freak’. She didn’t want to be a freak and she didn’t want to be normal. So she found a happy medium somewhere in the middle of normal and freak. To her it was more like wearing joggers, comfortable, but when you get home you can’t wait to take them off.

By the time she reached University the girl began to see that she was becoming more and more like her mother, and father. She thought to herself “I’m not like them! They are far from normal!!” Then she remembered that when she was herself she was far from normal to. She thought about all the people she knew in her life and which ones had seen her in which shoes. She then thought that everyone might have found that happy medium and were only ‘themselves’ around those they were close to.

In her final semester of her undergraduate degree she was given an assignment asking her to talk about herself. She thought this will be easy I’ve been myself for 22 years! As she began to ponder about who she was she began to write a story just like this. She also thought that many people’s stories in brief might sound similar to this. But she wanted to know what it was about her story that made her so different to everyone else. What parts of her story needed to be changed for her to have turned out differently?

Looking back to when she was born she remembered that she was born with no shoes on. When you have no shoes on, it’s can be bit uncomfortable at times and you are vulnerable to getting your feet hurt. But you feel free. She knew that there proberbly wasn't a moment that she was more vulnerable and more herself then when she was born. The more she thought about her assignment the more she thought about how she could relate her different pairs of shoes the different theories in psychology.

She decided to post her story on her blog and see where it could go from there.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

it's a hard life :o)

Well for the past week I have been debating with myself about what topic I should do my blog1 on. After much debate between a prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping and the social self, I think I have decided to do the social self. Initially, I was really keen to do the social self but after further reading on prejudice and discrimination I found it quite fascinating. I finally decided the social self because I think I just have too many views about prejudice and discrimination. I'm a bit scared that I might over complicate the blog with all my ideas, and not actually stick to the question. I really struggle to get what makes sense in my head to make sense on the page. Anyway, social self is my plan; however, anything could happen. In the end I blame James for giving us too many interesting topics to choose from ;o)

Happy Blogging fellow Bloggers :o)