The Social Dynamics of Self-Esteem: Theory to Therapy

By R. A. Steffenhagen; Jeff D. Burns | Go to book overview
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media, and so on in today's social world as contributing to the development of low self-esteem. Modern theorists have been working diligently to identify the negative aspects of culture that contribute to deviance, vis-àvis low self-esteem, but rarely try to look for the positive elements that might help to counterbalance the negative. In the Marxian dialectic we see that each negative component contains a kernel of the positive, and an emphasis upon the positive will provide a basis for the development of good self-esteem. It would seem that with all these obstacles, it would be an arduous task for the average individual in the United States to develop high self-esteem in modern society, but fortunately this is not true. In the development of the paradigm in Chapter 2, we discussed the transcendental level of ego, which is able to provide the foundation for the development of high self-esteem. Development of this level of ego can help the raindrops of adversity roll off us "like water off a duck's back." We do not become completely immune to adversity; rather, we are able to effectively evaluate the various characteristics of our being and deal with these in a realistic manner -- in such a way that we can feel good about ourselves, no matter what the materialistic barriers. Materialism would have us treat the world as an object and ground us within it, instead of allowing us to perceive the world as an idea to be experienced.


NOTE
1.
The NORC78 Survey is a social survey conducted annually since 1972 by the National Opinion Research Center at Yale University. Data used in our analysis were published in 1978. The survey is an independently drawn sample of Englishspeaking people 18 years of age or over, living in noninstitutional arrangements in the United States. The sample size is 1,532, with individuals selected using full probability (correcting for population of geographic sections) sampling to retain a random sampling design ( Davis, 1978).

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