The reflexive self: a critical assessment of Giddens's later work on self-identity

Adams, M., 2002. The reflexive self: a critical assessment of Giddens's later work on self-identity. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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The subject of this thesis is Anthony Giddens's later work on identity. More specifically, it is a critical discussion of self-identity as a reflexive project, which Giddens claims has emerged as a result of recent and radical social upheavals. The initial discussion offers a summary of Giddens's theorization of recent social change. This is followed by an account of Giddens's generic model of selfhood, a tripartite model which has a long line of development in Giddens's work. I trace out this development, and consider its conceptual origins in psychoanalytical and phenomenological theory. Giddens's conceptualization of generic selfhood and recent social change in place, the two are then brought together: the remainder of the discussion focuses upon the impact of social transformations on the processes of self- identity, as understood by Giddens in his later work. I assess Giddens's claim that self-identity has become an increasingly reflexive process. I offer a critical analysis of this claim, drawing from a wide range of recent social and social psychological theory, to pose a number of problems for the theorisation of an increasingly reflexive self-identity. I consider the ways in which the idea of a reflexively formed self-identity is problematized by various issues: the culturally situated nature of modern identity; aspects of self-experience which may compromise a reflexive understanding of the self; and the importance of social relations of power in a theorisation of self- identity. The thesis's original contribution lies in its critical assessment of Giddens's later theory of identity in terms of both its psychological and sociological implications. As a result of this critical analysis it is argued that Giddens's notion of reflexivity needs to be extensively revised in order to more accurately represent contemporary forms of self-identity.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Adams, M.
Date: 2002
ISBN: 9781369316759
Divisions: Schools > School of Arts and Humanities
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 30 Sep 2020 13:01
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2023 12:47

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