The reflexive self and culture: a critique

Adams, Matthew (2003) The reflexive self and culture: a critique The British journal of sociology, 54 (2). pp. 221-238. ISSN 0007-1315

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This article attempts to engage with a tendency in the theorization of social change and self-identity, evident in the work of a number of contemporary social theorists, to place an extended process of reflexivity at the heart of modern identity. As symptomatic of 'neo-modern' accounts of selfhood, critical readings of Giddens, Beck, Castells and some aspects of social theory more generally, and their account of modern reflexivity's relationship to culture, are assessed. In light of these criticisms, ways in which culture might still play an important part in the shaping of identity are considered. The relationship between language, culture and reflexivity, drawing from philosophy, sociology and G. H. Mead's own brand of social psychology, are all utilized in establishing a critique of the role Giddens and others designate for culture in the constitution of the contemporary self. By potentially repositioning self-identity in its connection to culture, the overall bearing of reflexivity upon the processes of self-identity is thus questioned. It is argued that a culturally-situated, yet fluid and multifarious account of self-identity is a necessary analytical and normative alternative.

Item Type: Journal article
Subjects: L000 Social Sciences
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1080/0007131032000080212
Faculties: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences > School of Applied Social Science
Depositing User: editor sass
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2006
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2010 11:28

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