Kenneth Gergen In Defense Of Masks Analysis

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Kenneth Gergen makes it really clear that he does not support the assumption that a person develops one coherent identity in the article, "In Defense of Masks." Although psychologists say it is normal, Gergen mentions the opposite, "they may experience severe emotional distress" (196). The use of multiple identities represented by masks is used, because people seek approval from others and Gergen supports this idea with how different relationships causes one to learn more about themselves. I agree with Gregen 's opinion because people change based on the people they are surrounded by when growing up and the people live more effectively with their use of masks.
Various identities are used by people to seek approval because they want to feel
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Gregen and his colleagues studied the way an individual would present themselves when seeking acceptance of others. People would act a certain way, because they wanted to feel like they are worth it. For instance, the experiment that was conducted concluded that the young woman had an increase in self-esteem when they got positive feedback from the trainee, while the control group had no change. With this experiment, Gregen then thought about the "flexibility of the self," which is due to the diverse range of personalities people want to obtain their approval of (197). People want to feel good about themselves all the time and knowing people accept them causes them to identify themselves in different ways. It is the myriad amounts of relationships people carry throughout …show more content…
"If all you have is a ‘student schema’ and an ‘at home schema’, you will not know how to socialize with people you’ve never met before." (Heliasehat) We can not strongly identify with only one identity because it gives people a lot harder time in circumstances where they are not able to relate. As Heliasehat puts it in her article, "Why Do We Act Different Around Different People," it is much harder to interact with people if you identify to only one type of person. It is the many traits people develop that helps them in their life. For instance, having a job requires people to have traits that pertain to the specific job and would not require people to act the way they would at home. People put on their work face and do what they have to do in order to get paid for their job, even if that means putting on a mask. In order to do good, people need to be able to see themselves being what they want to do, it is not changing the person they are. It is more like having themselves grow into the person they will be. Heliasehat ends the article with "don’t be afraid to be your many amazing selves." It is all the identities that help people get through life 's many obstacles, and people should embrace it. People should not be scared that they are not sticking to one identity or think it is wrong when they can find themselves later in life with the help of their masks.

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