خویشتن آرمانی به عنوان استراتژی های مدیریت هویتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|29928||2015||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Intercultural Relations, Volume 44, January 2015, Pages 1–12
This research addresses the relationship between ideal selves and social context from a social identity perspective. Based on Social Identity Theory (Tajfel and Turner, 1979 and Tajfel and Turner, 1986) and related research, it is argued that ideal selves stand in a functional relationship with identity management strategies and that, consequently, shared beliefs about relevant intergroup relations influence the preferences for ideal selves. Three studies conducted with black and white adolescent and adult South Africans tested the assumption. The overall results of the studies confirmed that whether ideal selves corresponding to social change, social mobility or social creativity were preferred depended on whether the intergroup relations between black and white South Africans were perceived as secure or insecure.
The idea that individuals can discriminate between who they are and who they would like to be has a long history. In 1898, Estelle M. Darrah asked 1440 school children “What person of whom you have ever heard or read would you most wish to be like?” in her pioneering study on ideals (Darrah, 1898). This study was followed by many others during the 20th century using either the same or very similar questions (an overview is provided by Teigen, Normann, Bjorkheim, & Helland, 2000). The nature of studying ideals changed with the introduction of the theory of possible selves by Markus and Nurius (1986), in that, ideals as part of possible selves were conceptually linked to the self-concept and therefore theoretically embedded. The theory of possible selves as a cognitive-motivational theory conceptualises possible selves as cognitive representations (e.g., self-schemata) that derive from representations of the self in the past and the future (Markus & Nurius, 1986, p. 954). Possible selves appear to have two psychological functions: they motivate behaviour (demonstrated for academic achievement, see Oyserman, Bybee, & Terry, 2006; career goals, see Strauss et al., 2012 and Schnare et al., 2012; and health, see Hooker & Kaus, 1994) and they provide an evaluative and interpretative frame (Carver and Scheier, 1998, Hannover et al., 2006 and Higgins, 1989). As the traditional approach on ideals (see Teigen et al., 2000), the theory of possible selves assumes that people hold ideal selves, which are conceptualised as assumptions and aspirations about what “we would very much like to become” (Markus & Nurius, 1986, p. 954). Both the traditional studies on ideals as well as studies based on the theory of possible selves emphasise the interplay between ideal selves and the social context. In a qualitative review of the traditional studies on ideals from 1889 to 1996, Teigen et al. (2000) identified two general trends for the 20th century: first, the shift from national–historical (e.g., George Washington) towards contemporary ideals (e.g., public media figures such as athletes) and secondly, the shift from externalised ideals towards the rejection of external ideals (e.g., increased number of myself answers). Based on the notion that ideals reflect the social and historical context, Teigen et al. (2000) concluded that these shifts mirror changes in societies at large. Likewise, Markus and Nurius (1986) proposed that ideal selves as part of possible selves have the potential to reveal not only the “inventive and constructive nature of the self” but also mirror “the extent to which the self is socially determined and constrained” (p. 954). Although both research traditions acknowledge the importance of the social context, it is, however, surprising that they have not paid much attention to the relationship between social change processes and the individual, yet socially shared construction of the ideal selves. Thus, despite the undeniable link between individual ideal selves and large societal trends, a systematic understanding of the function of ideal selves in the way how people respond and contribute to social change in intergroup relations is still missing. This research aims to contribute to such a systematic understanding. Given that ideal selves have to our knowledge never been analysed in light of this question, our approach is to a large extent exploratory. However, in order to advance theory development, we propose initial assumptions and hypotheses were they are appropriate. We base our analysis on social identity theory (SIT, Tajfel and Turner, 1979 and Tajfel and Turner, 1986) and propose that peoples’ ideal selves stand in a functional relationship to their strategies to maintain and develop positive social identities. Moreover, we hypothesise that individuals’ preferences for ideal selves are determined by their shared beliefs in socio-structural characteristics of the intergroup relations relevant to them. Three studies that tested this hypothesis within a real intergroup context characterised by radical social changes will be presented.