Essay about The Self Can Be Understood as 'Socially Constructed'.

1881 Words Jan 5th, 2008 8 Pages
Introduction

The notion of self strikes us all in someway throughout our lives. Whether we are considered by others to be of a particular persuasion or we admire or despair of our own qualities we have ingrained perceptions and beliefs about the nature of the self, of ourselves. The importance of culture and context in understanding the processes by which people come to describe, explain or account for the world and themselves is described as social constructionism. The theory of social constructionism contrasts with theories of psychodynamic perspectives and essentialism that suggest that our representations of ourselves are based on some innate and unconscious propensities. This essay will show that the social constructivist
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The effects of this youth focus of Western society carries on through working life and into old age.

Working Lives

Our working lives are central to our life stories. The work we do identifies us, and marks our social standing and position. Wynhausen, in the book, Dirt Cheap, tells of employee experiences working at Chicken & Egg (C & E) Enterprises, "I had heard people in Greendale say something of the kind about C & E a moment before making it clear that they would as soon pass through the portals of hell as the entrance to the company's chicken processing plant... A real estate agent who asked me what I did for a living failed to ask me another thing – not even if I was interested in the cheap and nasty flat she had shown me" and "She said the townspeople looked down on C & E employees and showed it. A sales girl in a local dress shop had made a perjorative remark when she tried on something expensive...". In this way the work we do defines us, and determines how we are perceived and classified.

In the past lifetime employment with a particular employer was a significant identifier of the self, however, "in flexible capitalism people labour at short term tasks, and change employers frequently" (Sennett, R). This change in the

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