The evolving nature of self-identity across four levels of history
Journal/Book: Hum Develop. 2000; 43: Allschwilerstrasse 10, CH-4009 Basel, Switzerland. Karger. 1-18.
Abstract: Drawing upon Erikson's theory of psychosocial development and current social constructionist perspective, self-identity is defined as a life story which is socially constructed and constantly being revised throughout the life span, and which provides a sense of continuity despite change. The cultural identity of a group (ethnic or national) is constructed and reconstructed in a similar manner guided by the principles of self-esteem, continuity, distinctiveness, and self-efficacy. A native of Taiwan, the author uses her own experiences with the Chinese, the Japanese, and the American cultures to illustrate the integrative process of self-construction as one moves from one cultural milieu to another. The Vygotsky/ Scribner framework serves to illuminate the interinfluences of four levels of history - the general history of humanity, the history of individual societies, the life history of the individual in society, and the history of a particular psychological system (in this instance self-identity)- in this highly individualized process.
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Keyword(s): cultural identity; historical context; self-identity; sociocultural context; the Chinese; the Japanese; Vygotsky/Scribner; CHINESE