Ontological Security

Ontological security refers to a security of being in contrast to a security of survival. It rests on the idea that social actors need a secure sense of self in order to realize a sense of agency, highlighting the need for actors to feel that they have stable identities. An actor is ontologically secure, when she has a sense of biographical continuity and wholeness that is supported in and through her relations with others.

The term has its origins in the psychoanalysis of Ronald D. Laing in Self and Others and in the sociology of Anthony Giddens in Modernity and Self-Identity. To Laing, ontological security is a condition in which the absence of anxiety means that identity and autonomy are never in danger, while ontological insecurity ...

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