The Concept of the Self Term Paper by Nicky

The Concept of the Self
An exploration, from the sociological and psychological viewpoints, of the concept of the self.
# 149127 | 1,889 words | 5 sources | APA | 2011 | US
Published on Nov 25, 2011 in Psychology (Social) , Sociology (Theory)

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The paper explores how an individual develops a sense of self and discusses the concept of self as a composite of both private and public self perception. The paper highlights both the importance of social and cultural factors in the shaping and development of the personal self as well as the relationship between self and emotions or feelings about oneself. The paper concludes that while the sense of self has its roots in the individual's psyche, it is also influenced by the social environment as well as by social factors such as the media and community.

Introduction: What is the Self?
The Development of a Self-Concept
Emotion, Presentation and Self-Esteem

From the Paper:

"Defining the self is notoriously difficult. In chapter five of Social Beings, Fiske points out that the self is a dynamic concept that changes in relation to the environment, culture and social setting, as well as in relation to the affective needs of the moment. In other words, "The dynamic self is not a simple fixed entity" (Fiske, 2004, p.170).
"On a more formal theoretical level there are a number of definitions that approach the complexity of understanding of what constitutes the self. William James for example, attempted to define the self as an extension of the material body (Fiske, 2004, p. 171). James also distinguished between the material self and a deeper more complex spiritual self. This deeper self is what most people refer to as the 'real' self (Fiske, 2004, p. 171). However, one also has to extend this definition or view of the self and include aspects such as emotions and behavior patterns as well as attitudes and abilities.
"In attempting to understand the nature of the self, account should also be taken of the distinction between the private and the public or social sense of self. The social self is extremely important facet of the self and often means that a single individual has a number of different personae or 'selves' that have to be incorporated into the concept of identity. For example, the person may have a self 'schema' or set of presentation variables to meet various social and personal demands; such as the individual person as a parent and businessman as well as other roles."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bornman, E. (1999). Self-Image and Ethnic Identification in South Africa. Journal of Social Psychology, 139(4), pp.411-425
  • Fiske S.T. (2004) Social Beings. Ho Boken, NJ: Wiley.
  • Klein, H. A. (1995). Self-Perception in Late Adolescence: An Interactive Perspective. Adolescence, 30(119), 579+.
  • Monteath, S. A., & McCabe, M. P. (1997). The Influence of Societal Factors on Female Body Image. Journal of Social Psychology, 137(6), pp. 708-727. Retrieved June 21, 2009, from Questia database:
  • Verkuyten, M. (1998). Perceived Discrimination and Self-Esteem Among Ethnic Minority Adolescents. Journal of Social Psychology, 138(4), 479-493.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Concept of the Self (2011, November 25) Retrieved October 03, 2023, from

MLA Format

"The Concept of the Self" 25 November 2011. Web. 03 October. 2023. <>