The Eighth Edition of this classic text provides a basic introduction to the field of social psychology. Taking a critical symbolic interactionist approach, Social Psychology helps students understand the very nature of how individuals do things together in today's society. The book has been significantly revised taking into consideration a number of recent turns in the field, such as: the increased sense that American social psychology is deeply embedded in world culture; that postmodernism has much to offer the sudy of the social world; and that new theories on sexuality, identity, deviance and the body provide a fascinating viewpoint on a person within society.

Selves and Identity Transformations

Selves and identity transformations

We have continually emphasized that the individual's self-conception and sense of self-identity are mediated by the communication process, lodged in the circuits of culture, and grounded in the person's interpersonal relationships. The contemporary self is bombarded with social and media experiences, saturated with information from such sources as electronic and voice mail, faxes, around-the-clock cable-television and broadcast news, and stories and narratives in special-interest magazines and newspapers (see Gergen, 1991, p. 16). Fractured and split identities are now taken for granted. Persons develop multiple images of who they are and shape these images around shifting hyphenated meanings attached to racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, national, and family identities. These identities are lodged in the circuits of culture, filtered, constantly ...

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