Constructing an Identity Self-Structure

Everyone is in the process of identity formation.  Everything that you’ve done and everything you’ve experienced has formed your sense of identity and self.  Every thought you think and relationship that you are in – form you and your identity.  Everyone has an Identity Self-Structure – some system of organizing all of your ideas, thoughts, habits, experiences, desires etc.

An identity self-structure is exactly what it sounds like.  A structure that self has constructed that integrates all of these factors and all of these identities.  The more complex the identity self-structure, the greater the ability to move in and out of all of the possible identities that you have created.

I have posted previously about identities – the ones you create and the ones you project(Constructing Identity; I and Me; You interact with I).  It can get pretty complicated when you have multiple roles and multiple identities that you play.  Each one of those identities that you create are versions of you – versions of self.  Having an identity self-structure that is able to keep all of these integrated into the self allows for a very developed identity.  Disintegration of those identities bring about confusion, the sense of being lost, a lot of anxiety and pain.  Create a complex identity self-structure helps one to deal with the pain and anxiety that life brings.

How’s your identity self-structure?

One thought on “Constructing an Identity Self-Structure

  1. As you say: “It can get pretty complicated when you have multiple roles and multiple identities that you play…Disintegration of those identities bring about confusion, the sense of being lost, a lot of anxiety and pain.” I offer the following to show just “how complicated things can get” and a bit of the identity self-structure that works for me:

    Mead reversed the content of the I/Me distinction, which, originally, was a psychological construct created by James to describe a multiplicity of social selves.

    [Footnote. James’ multiplicity of social selves preceded Mead’s generalized other. It was James who said: “…a man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him and carry an image of him in their mind” (James, 1890:294).]

    For Mead, the me-self, as it accounts for the rules and conventions of the generalized other, guaranteed continuity of self. The me-self, for James, on the other hand, since it guaranteed the multiple social selves that are occasioned in a heterogeneous society, accounted for the self’s discontinuities, that is, the multiple varieties of social selves that a person identifies with. The I-self, on the other hand, in Mead, was identified with novelty and originality and therefore gave an account of the self’s discontinuous nature. But, for James, the I-self unified all the separate, socially generated me-selves that are occasioned in society (the I takes the position of “mine” for every me-self), thus, the I-self guaranteed the continuity of self.

    In Order To Simplify The Continuity/Discontinuity Distinction, Provide A Theoretically Consistent Interpretation Of Collective Voices Of The Generalized Other, And Account For The Ambivalent-Like Condition Of What Simmel And Thom Suggest Lies At The Seat Of Self-Conscious Activity, I Propose That Mead’s Concept Of The I/Me Couplet Be Replaced With The Concept Of The Implicative Affirmative Of The Not-Me-Self.

    Put simply, the implicative affirmative of the not-me-self identifies both a person’s biography and the social and psychological mechanism for the inner restructuring of experience into self and other. By biography I mean any component of self; that is, the expressive and limiting aspects of one’s personal history that can be brought to bear on the present experience of the person. “The human animal’s past,” according to Mead (1934:116), “is constantly present in the facility with which he acts….”

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