Narrative Identities: Psychologists Engaged in Self-Construction

Narrative Identities: Psychologists Engaged in Self-Construction

Narrative Identities: Psychologists Engaged in Self-Construction

Narrative Identities: Psychologists Engaged in Self-Construction

Synopsis

"The contributors address challenging questions about identity in relation to personality development, language and socialization. They demonstrate how their cultural and historical contexts influenced their theoretical approaches to the nature of 'self' and how these ideas in turn shaped how they perceive their personal histories." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

The inspiration for this book grew out of our explorations of the interrelationships in life and work in our respective disciplines, our shared interest in psychology, and our conviction that human experiences are made meaningful through narratives. George Yancy's books African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations (1998) and The Philosophical i: Personal Reflections on Life in Philosophy (2002) are the result of such explorations in the area of philosophy, while Susan Hadley's doctoral research, “Exploring Relationships Between Life and Work in Music Therapy: the Stories of Mary Priestley and Clive Robbins,” similarly explores these themes within the field of music therapy. What we both found was that in the very process of engaging the narratives that were developed, we not only learned more about each person and the dialectical relationship between each person and the work that they do, but we also found ourselves transformed by them. This dynamic process of being transformed by these narratives speaks to the fluidity of selves and identities.

Knowing of our previous work, a friend of ours, Jerome Ruderman, suggested that this type of exploration would be intriguing in a range of disciplines. Given our shared interest in psychology, we began to consider how fascinating it would be to ask psychologists to turn their gaze toward who they have become/are becoming in terms of how they are situated within the complex interstices of social life. Indeed, we asked them to explore the dialectical relationship between their identities and their biographical context. Psychologists are known for the work they do exploring the lives of others. They help to weave and reweave meaning in the lives of individuals whose lives have been fractured in some way. This process of weaving and reweaving meaning is a co-authored journey; a journey of shared meaning, shared discourse, and shared insight. However, we rarely hear the psychologist's story. We were interested in the identities of psychologists that were not limited to the therapeutic relationship. We are/were interested in the personal and extrapersonal dimensions of the lives of a critical cadre of psychologists as autobiographically explored through various theoretical presuppositions held by each individual psychologist. This strategy is not only illuminating in terms of the theoretical side of the profession of psychology, particularly . . .

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