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CHAPTER 2 – THE SELF AS A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT

 Knowing the self requires an understanding of our society and its culture
 It is impossible to ultimately know the self without comprehending the culture of our society.
 The self as a social being, is influenced by the values, traditions and beliefs the that society holds
dear.
 Culture is defined by Edward Taylor as “a complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs,
arts, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a member of
society.”
 The study of culture is embedded in Anthropology and Sociology. Anthropology is inclusive
study of of the human race, its culture and society, and its physical development. It deals with
the origin of humanity and its cultural development.
 Sociology is the scientific study of human life, social groups, whole societies and the human
world. deals with human behavior as social beings tha their relationship with many other
people.
 Anthropology and sociology lead us to dig deeper into how we see ourselves in the lights of the
culture which we are exposed to.
 The immediate family is the primary source of our socialization, which familiarize us with the
ought and ought not
 As we grow older culture becomes an integral and inescapable part .of our humanity.
 Our culture set the NORMS of the people. norms are what dictates our behavior in the society.
These are social standards which tell us whether our behavior ar acceptable or not.
 The SELF from a social and anthropological perspective cannot be dichotomized from its
culture.

CHARACTERISTICS OF CULTURE.

COMPONENTS OF CULTURE

 Material culture consists of human technology – all the things that people make and use. This is
the physical manifestation of culture. The evolution f material culture can be attributed to the
technological advances that humanity was able to make. Cultural exchanges paved the way for
the alteration of material culture
 Non-material culture are the intangible human creations that include beliefs, values, norms and
symbols. These non-material culture helps shape our perspective of the society, of ourselves,
and even of the material world. (e.g. conservatism)
 Issues on same sex marriage,
 The material and non-material cultures are vital in the understanding of self in society.
 Culture is a significant factor in the continuity of a society.
 Our social personality is a reflection of the culture itelf.
MEAD’S DEVELOPMENT STAGES OF THE SELF

 An individual explains his actions through the lens of his society


 Stages: Engaging in Imitation, Engaging in play, engaging in games, Recognizing the
generalized other.
 The self becomes aware of the values adhered by his communal group.
 If one does NOT adhere to the values of the group, he will considered as a deviant, be
ridiculed or even ostracized by the society.

Geertz and his CONCEPT OF THE SELF AS AN UNFINISHED ANIMAL

 Considered culture as a set of control mechanisms – engineered programs to direct human


behavior
 Man as an unfinished animal, always dependent on structures to control his behavior; it is
necessary that man be governed by rules to guide him in making sure that his actions will make
him a better member of the society.
 The laws of the land provide the most comprehensive rules by which man is expected to abide.

THE SELF IN THE WESTERN AND ORIENTAL THOUGHTS

 Cultural relativism
 Individualistic versus collectivist societies (Independent and Interdependent societies)

THE SELF AS A PRODUCT OF THE MODERN WORLD

 Culture is dynamic
 Advances in technology

THE SELF(IE) GENERATION AS CULTURE CREATORS

 Generation Z, known as the “selfie generation”. They are also culture creators, who practically
life their lives and present themselves in the virtual world.
 Born between 1995 and 2010). This generation has embraced and balanced multiple cultures,
they are moving their cultural identity beyond simple definitions of race and ethnicity.
 They are considered as culture creators, changers and collaborators

THE SELF AS REFLECTED IN THE COLLECTIVIST TEACHINGS OF CONFUCIUS

 China adheres to the teachings of Confucius, considered as the Supreme Sage and Founder of
Chinese civilization.
 The teachings of Confucius is the basis of social relationships reflecting collectivism as its core.
 Five Cardinal Relationships in Confucianism:
Ruler & subject; Father & Son; Husband & Wife; Elder brother & Younger Brother;
Friend & Friend
 The symbiosis of selfhood and otherness is the Confucian concept of the self as a dynamic
process of spiritual development
 Confucianism is a social philosophy delineating social relationships with the end foal of spiritual
growth
 Self-cultivation involves a dynamic process in the spirit of Filiality, brotherhood, friendship,
discipleship and loyalty
CHAPTER 3 – MY PHYSICAL SELF

Why do I look like me?

 Science explains that our parents are very much instrumental in understanding why we
look how we look.
 Gregor Mendel figured our how genes are passed from parents to offsprings in plant,
including humans. Genetics has a hand on our physical appearance. Heredity
 Heredity definition, the transmission of genetic characters from parents to offspring: it
is dependent upon the segregation and recombination of genes during meiosis and
fertilization and results in the genesis of a new individual similar to others of its kind but
exhibiting certain variations resulting from the particular mix of genes and their
interactions with the environment.
CULTURAL STANDARDS OF BEAUTY
 As culture decides the norms of the society, its concept of what is beautiful os similarly
invoked from cultural perspective.
 Different cultures have different standards of beauty.
Ex. Tahiti an African country, women were set aside for fattening purposes and their
skin covered with tapa bark cloths, believing that being fat and beng light skinned are
signs of beauty and wealth.
 Acc. To Lakoff and Scherr, “ beauty was not a product of wealth, but a commodity in and
off itself. In other words, it was no longer a matter of looking in wealth to find beauty,
but of looking to beauty to find status. Now, beauty could give the illusion of wealth.
 In the Philippines, the construction of local standards of beauty can be trace from our
colonial influence.
 Free as we are claiming we are, our mindset is still a slave of the white culture.

The Filipino Obsession with Beauty: The case of XAnder Ford

 The Filipino obsession with beauty translates not only with women but also with men.
Hashts5 – boy band , cyber bullying , Marlou Arizala, a victim of Eurocentric standard if
beauty. The same standard victimizing oue own people. Sponsored by a cosmetic
surgery clinic, he underwent a series of operations to change his physical appearance.
Shirly Saturnino, underwent the same procedure, but died of fat embolism.
 People suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder p those who are so obsessed with their
physical appearance. They seek cosmetic surgeries like liposuction, breast
augmentation, eyelid surgery, Rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, facelift, breast lift,
dermabrasion, forehead lift, hair transplantation, etc.
 People who are not beaitifyl are ridiculed, hence they lost their self-confidence and
break their self- esteem.
 Anorexia is defined as “ a serious mental illness where people are of low weight, limiting
their energy inbtake. It can affect anyone of any age, gender or background. The take
less food, do lots of exercise, of may take large amount of food and then vomit (purge)
them
 Body shaming – criticizing oneself or others may also cause loss of self-confidence
 Body Image Disturbance (BID) consists of two components – Perceptual component –
how we accurately perceive our body size or body size estimation - and Attitudinal
component – how we think and feel about our body size and shape. (which if not
correctly processed may result in body dissatisfaction.

The Filtered Self

 Use of filter applications to hide our imperfections, creating and recreating our self to
be approved by our online friend.
 The more we approved our filtered self, the more we disregard our unfiltered physical
selves.

Celebrating Beauty in Diversity

 Cultural concept of beauty should be celebrated and respected. However, practices that
enhance attractiveness, yet are severely harmful to the health, should be stopped.

You are What you look! Embracing your Physical Self

 We are deemed as the masterpiece of our Creator of the universe: carefully, precisely,
and worthily created.
 The significance of SELF-ACCEPTANCE is necessary to embracing our physical self. We
need not fret if the way we look does not live to the standards set by our society. We
have to be reminded that our health is foremost of all of these.
 It is important to learn to accept and embrace who we are, with all the beauty, flaws
and imperfections, because it is the only way that we can live on peace and at peace
with our selves.
CHAPTER 3 – THE PSYCHOLOGICAL SELF

Self / Self- Concept


According to Carl Rogers, self or self-concept “is an organized, consistent set of
perceptions of and beliefs about oneself.” These perceptions ad beliefs that comprise our self-
consept are called self-schema which are formed by different factors: 1. past experiences, 2.
personality traits, 3. abilities, 4. physical features, 5. values, 6. goals, 7. social roles, 8.
own observations, 9. feedback from others.

Why can our self-concept be fluid – because all these fctors are dynamic, ever-changing.
Our self-schemas “influence not only current behavior, but also future behavior.”

Real and Ideal Self


The real self is who we actually are, how I see me, also called the actual self

The ideal self is the person we want to be, the idealized version of ourselves, and how I should
be.

Our ideal self is essential in guiding and motivating s how to behave in a way that would lead
us the the best version of who we want to be. It is a helpful motivation in guiding the real self
to strive and continue improving.

Use of visual imagining exercise – focus on the positive.

How aligned are the real self with the ideal self? There is congruence or alignment if there is
a small gap between our real self and our ideal self. There is incongruence or misalignment if
a huge gap exist between the real self and the ideal self. This may lead to having low self-
esteem or self- worth and may cause instability in one’s psychological well-being. Defenses –
denial aand perceptual distortion.

If the level of incongruence is too much to handle, it is best to seek help through counseling
from people who can help.

We have to learn to separate behaviors from the totality of one’s being.

Self-esteem and Self-efficacy


Self-esteem refers to one’s overall assessment of one’s worth as a person. This refers to how
we value our selves and perceive our worth as a person.

Self esteem includes our social image, emotional self-image, academic self-image, and
physical self-image. Our social image has to do with our relationships with peers and
significant other; Our emotional self-image is shown in our emotional expressions like anger,
happiness, love, etc. Our academic self-image has to do with our school standing in the
differen subjects we are taking. Our physical self-image has to do our physical appearance,
like height, weight, smile, hair style.

Self-efficacy is how one performs. It is directly correlated wit self-esteem. When our self-
efficacy or our performance improves, our self-esteem also improves which will lead to
congruence.

For self-esteem and self-efficacy to increase, we need to to learn to give unconditional


positive regard to each other.

What/who is a fully functioning person? A person who is in touch with the here and now, his
or her subjective experiences and feeling are continually growing and changing.

Characteristics: openness to experience, flexible self-concept, unconditional positive regard


for the slef and the ability to live in harmony with others.
We need to continue investing and valuing ourselves by learning relevant everyday.
Everything that we learn and own always stays with us as priceless assets.

When you invest your time in developing yourself personally and professionally; you are role-
playing as a catalyst for self-growth. Read books, news, expose your brain to creative ideas,
meet good people.

“It is, never to late, to be what you might have been.” George Eliot