Generally the world view, or the world philosophy that pervades a culture, has a profound impact upon the development of personality. While this is of particular importance in anthropological studies in cross-cultural research, it is of lesser importance in relation to a therapeutic theory within a single culture. It is, however, of importance to those aspects of the culture that may hinder the development of good self-esteem. In conclusion, we are suggesting that national-character structure, vis-à-vis the world view, is important in its impact upon personality. Individual differences and maladaptations operate in a particular soci milieu within the world view.
In Chapter 2 self-esteem was identified as the "totality of the individual's perception of self, the self-concept/mental, self-image/physical, and social concept/social at increasingly abstract levels of being." First, in our model we have developed what we call the situational model of self-esteem, which includes the original definition. In Chapter 2 we discussed three models of self-esteem: Model 1, the material/situational; Model 2, the transcendental/construct; and Model 3, self-awareness/integration. We have discussed the importance of the concept of ego strength and the importance of the ego as identified with the psyche in traditional Indian philosophy. Within the theories of personality we discussed Allport's definition and commented on its more abstract nature, postulating a psyche or soul.
It is our contention that conflict should not be viewed as something negative, but rather, that conflict should be seen as normal in society and in the individual. Therapy should not be directed at the resolution of conflict, since conflict cannot and should not always be resolved. The individual needs to learn to accept and to deal with conflict as a motivational force. Just as conflict can be beneficial for the group, as postulated by Simmel, so, too, can it be beneficial for the individual. When the conflict is understood and dealt with by the individual it can be an important motivating force for the organism manifesting a wholly positive outcome. Conflict is normal and the goal of therapy should be the achievement of a functional unity of conflicting opposites, strengthening and integrating the personality, rather than weakening and fragmenting it.
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Publication information: Book title: The Social Dynamics of Self-Esteem:Theory to Therapy. Contributors: R. A. Steffenhagen - Author, Jeff D. Burns - Author. Publisher: Praeger. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1987. Page number: 181.
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