The Social Dynamics of Self-Esteem: Theory to Therapy

By R. A. Steffenhagen; Jeff D. Burns | Go to book overview
Save to active project

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.

Weltanschauung is one's conception of the universe, a prevailing philosophy of life. Hereafter it will be referred to as "world view."


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Social Dynamics of Self-Esteem: Theory to Therapy


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 245

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?