Summary / Abstract

Title: Identity as adaptation to social, cultural, and historical context

Synopsis: Adaptation may be the best way to conceptualize the complex, multilateral relationship betweenindividual identity and sociocultural context, because it recognizes the causal importance of culture yet also recognizesindividual choice and change. This argument is developed by considering how several historical changes in the sociocultural context(i.e. increasing freedom of choice, changed interpersonal patterns, loss of traditional value bases, and rising tension betweendesire for uniqueness and difficulty of achieving it) have led to changes in the nature of identity. Although identity adapts tochanges in its sociocultural context, these changes sometimes create new problems, including the specially problematic nature ofmodern selfhood. adolescents, modern, context, Baumeister, adaptation, self, selfhood, culture, uniqueness, historical changes, nature, society, desire, tradition, sociocultural context, morals, inner self, importance, Modern Western, adult identity, interpersonal patterns loss, psychology, identities, Professionals, causal importance, complex multilateral relationship, conceptualize, MARK Muraven adaptation, broad range, self esteem,

Related links for: Identity as adaptation to social, cultural, and historical context

Additional keywords for: Identity as adaptation to social, cultural, and historical context

journal adolescence 1996 19 405 416 identity adaptation social cultural historical context roy f baumeister mark muraven adaptation best conceptualize complex multilateral relationship individual identity sociocultural context recognizes causal importance culture recognizes individual choice change argument developed considering historical changes sociocultural context i e increasing freedom choice changed interpersonal patterns loss traditional value bases rising tension desire uniqueness difficulty achieving led changes nature identity identity adapts changes sociocultural context changes create new problems specially problematic nature modern selfhood 1996 association professionals services adolescents introduction purpose essay provide basis understanding individual identity related sociocultural context relationship individual identity society classic chicken egg problems causes society sum product identities source obvious identities come vacuum emerge first merely seek suitable context societies clearly play important causal role creating shaping identity clear identities merely created society foisted willy nilly helpless hapless individuals people clearly exert considerable choice influence identities propose relationship identity social context understood terms adaptation precisely individual identity adaptation social context concept adaptation useful imply mere passive acquisition identity individuals overstate scope self determination history culture proximate structure social relations create context individual identity exist people individual wants needs satisfied context individuals actively choose alter modify identities based enable get best context approach consider major features society culture changed centuries specifically modern western cultural context shall examine changes cultural context altered nature identity people seek adapt new social conditions possibilities important understand changes occur simultaneously reprint requests correspondence addressed r baumeister department psychology case western reserve university 10900 euclid avenue cleveland oh 44106 7123 u 0140 1971 96 05040512 18 00 0 1996 association professionals services adolescents 406 r f baumeister m muraven stopped occurring renaissance changes accelerated twentieth century speak modern identity referring largely post renaissance changes identity points try illustrate changes late twentieth century society impact adolescents today definition treat identity composite definition self assume selfhood exists prior linguistic definition social construction self based physical body experiencing reflexive consciousness interpersonal connections belonging small groups exercising executive functions decision making self regulation baumeister press identity meaningful definitions ascribed attached self social roles reputation structure values priorities conception potentiality see baumeister 1986 possible distinguish self identity distinction important present purposes shall terms interchangeably freedom choice form historical change western society relevant adolescence concerns degree society dictated person major adult roles aspects adult identity immense loosening societal guidelines restrictions pressures allowing people unprecedented degree freedom freedom increased burdensome pressure individual adolescents basis making crucial choices triandis 1989 distinguished tight loose societies terms latitude individual choice variation allow western societies evolved relatively tight quite loose allows people greater scope choose change circumstances adapt identities wish negative side increased pressure individual create identity pressure reaches major peak adolescence two related sets changes social context led developments first involved gradual elimination structures tied specific paths adult life broad unchosen features identity centuries ago options available people heavily determined gender family background accidents birth men women separate spheres closed concerted effort reduce end restrictions changes involved expansion freedoms range opportunities sense separate gender spheres medieval europe matter anyway insofar people going farmers industrialization urbanization rise trade corporate life increasing social geographical mobility modern developments vastly increased range potential choices society offer individual emergence modern education played role developments education serves purpose background broad range occupations specializes particular field late educational career reliance education start career frees individual limitations background gender family background likewise allows people prepare broad range occupations change work unsatisfactory 407 identity adaptation contrast apprenticeship system shaped adolescents recent centuries important apprenticeship prepares particular line work useless decide pursue job apprentices locked fairly rigid occupational path early teens contrast liberal arts education regarded suitable preparation broad assortment jobs allowing specific choices postponed past age 20 e g kett 1977 parallel change involves opening western society tolerant pluralistic diversity values periods state religions consensual moralities basic values seen objective facts personal choices modern western society concept personal values means people hold different values basic beliefs enjoined respect allows people coexist conform values puts difficult burden people requires basis e g feels right see bellah et al 1985 choosing values said burden creating adult identity falls heavily adolescents major life decisions postponed adolescence adolescence fully end basic parameters adult identity place combination broad range choices clear basis making renders adolescence difficult negotiate evidence newly difficult nature adolescence historians provided evidence adolescence time associated mischief disobedience conflicts authority unruly behavior risk sexual aggressive misdeeds contrast traditional problems adolescence modern western culture added new view adolescence time awkwardness uncertainty indecision e g demos demos 1969 kett 1977 see baumeister tice 1986 review short adolescent misbehavior age old problem adolescent identity crisis modern adolescence old new problem old problems reflecting doubt difficult final stages socialization instigation socially sanctioned self controls emerging adult motivational patterns new problem reflects struggle modern tasks identity formation need basis making choices define adult identity suggesting modern adolescents deserve special pity burdens challenges pitied adolescent common bygone eras locked path unwanted adult identity unsuitable marriage career modern adolescents relatively free oppressive limitations choices enviable scope ontological horizons lack clear bases making choices present difficulties common injunction person look inward make choices right self inner self contains answers turn considering belief inner self adaptation social historical changes emergence inner self basic western beliefs long distinguished invisible essence soul visible person middle ages identity largely equated visible 408 r f baumeister m muraven person theological changes 11th 12th centuries conceptualize souls unique individualistic terms identity largely discernible glance cases dress codes ensured social rank seen immediately gender lack social geographical mobility stability social groups entailed people seen knew anyway urbanization trends increased contact people strangers social mobility enabled people change rank society sennett 1974 stone 1977 trilling 1971 explained people try pass betters true identity longer safely equated surface appearance likewise increasing instability social relations offered chances people benefit dissembling capitalism industry expanding sales markets offered ways people make money deceiving large ways small trilling 1971 concluded modern figure villain appeared literature 16th century essence villain view evil concealed veneer social acceptability good intentions medieval morality plays contrast evil figures typically came obviously labeled 16th century drama turned suspense raised fact characters play initially perceive wicked intentions villain appears society recognize increasing appeal prevalence concealing identity cultural understanding identity adapted new social conditions drastically expanding conception hidden inner nature selfhood see baumeister 1986 1987 important large self thought existed hidden away inside person revealed discovered gradually selectively acceptance large important inner self changed shaped nature modern identity hidden self definition difficult know define plain visible task self understanding made complicated increasing recognition self deception meant people fail know inner selves low point epistemological status self knowledge freudian psychoanalysis asserted self knowledge gained expensive hours spent expert likely remain incomplete belief inner hidden self expanded scope myths selfhood people come believe inner selves contain sorts things easy disprove beliefs sure broad variety contents ascribed inner selfhood latent creative inspirations works art personality traits run contrary actions undiscovered abilities potentialities basis making moral choices see baumeister 1986 1987 reviews sypher 1962 adolescents today movies books talk shows popular media frequently allude importance finding oneself benefits inner search clear conception precisely means clear evidence beneficial consequences doing adolescents late twentieth century popular culture encourages expects understand oneself suspect problems facing adolescents today arise partially misguided unclear expectation oneself short changes social relations progressive questioning self knowledge 409 identity adaptation removed identity realm obviously visible adapting changes identity come understood inner hidden entity indirectly known expressed actions roles adaptation solved problems created complicating nature modern selfhood modern need hidden identity result experimenting different roles greater suggestibility peer groups person tried self fits identity value gap social historical change radically altered context selfhood required fundamental changes people construct understand identity change society understanding important basic values argument complex detailed baumeister 1991 briefly important people basic fundamental values justify choices endow lives positive value choices right good basis serving higher fundamental value ultimately basis values values accepted right good needing invoke ultimate value moral entities right good justification termed value bases connection major problem modern western society lost main value bases basic values easily destroyed modernization process notoriously difficult replace see habermas 1973 tradition justified ways doing things made right modern bureaucracy largely replaced tradition rational decision making procedures e g shils 1981 effective solving problems increasing efficiency lack moral force tradition tradition lent positive value doing things obviously god religious mandates furnished important value base cultures societies separation church state enlightenment devaluation religion rise agnosticism secularizing trends sharply reduced role christian religion plays providing criteria everyday choices made modern west result loss value bases labeled value gap acute common problem modern western individuals face terms making life meaningful see baumeister 1991 cultural deficit presents individuals problem meaningful ways endow lives value make choices right good culture responded value gap ways involve taking culture placed value trying elevate major value bases work ethic considered first experiment elevating status major value see rodgers 1978 enhanced value domesticity marital love privacy nuclear family parenthood see e g margolis 1984 sennett 1974 lasch 1977 1978 410 r f baumeister m muraven present purposes important cultural response value gap elevate self major value base baumeister 1991 modern western individual perceives moral imperative pursuit self interest self actualization largely unprecedented new view moral right duty good self learning understand oneself cultivating talents abilities modern preoccupation identity mere reflection particular difficulties see baumeister 1986 preoccupation gains urgency force people look identity help make life meaningful identity expected help people solve basic dilemma make life meaningful evidence notion self identity form major value base western culture presented baumeister 1991 see bellah et al 1985 present focus implications understanding identity context individuals embrace self value base first cooperation individuals treating selfhood sacred value understood two ways easy rationalization self interested selfish behavior people wanted remarkable thing modern valuing selfhood puts morality self interest side history cultures morality operates mainly restrain oppose self interested behaviors moral good benefits social group pursuit individual self interest expense group morality opposes people free best individually clear conscience presumptive moral duty self reason people cooperate accepting new moral role identity helps resolve difficulties value gap said lack firm sources value problem culture faces makes difficult individual human beings believe doing right thing make choices reliable basis self individual person sees positive value motivated protect maintain people disposed solve moral dilemmas escape moral vacuum high minded effort best identity related fact new moral role selfhood helps tell people look answers guidance bygone days confronted moral dilemma asking priest minister help consulted scripture oneself consulted culturally approved legends philosophical writings approaches entirely satisfactory practical modern west new moral role selfhood tells people look inside sources value answers moral dilemmas identity embody value base people able look inward right good practice boils insipid form moral choice based doing feel right bellah et al 1985 quite agreeable people feelings compel aversive disadvantageous adolescence time develop identity likely need see self valuable relevant additionally highly 411 identity adaptation sensitive feedback regarding identity process trying see valuable people high unstable self esteem respond criticism aggression violence people value unsure true worth respond attacking perceived attacker baumeister et al 1996 description true adolescents process developing identity implications work important consequence new moral role selfhood helped transform meaning work societies solve basic problem motivate people work extent basic tasks get done production food shelter system rewards work distributed inequitably particular proportion exertions individuals make system distributing rewards requires values legitimize medieval christianity justified work theories religious duties obligations helped justify feudal system extreme inequities modernization separated religion workplace new values needed work ethic ultimately failed system values keep society working justify reward system see rodgers 1978 new reliance self value base proven quite potent motivating people work context people work means cultivating providing glorifying self modern concept career captures new meaning work career record promotions honors marks distinction person list resume work sake extrinsic paycheck done love work done sake identitybuilding gaining advancement recognition validate good qualities self modern adolescents twentieth century need meaning self work heightened task help support goal ultimately rejected implications adolescents view school future career choices implications family love work ethic belief family values largely successful providing powerful motivating force people guide decisions justify actions pursuing love caring family members doing best children widely accepted ways doing right thing require justification asks explain bother doing good children self family two powerful modern values potential conflict important aspect modern context identity conflict presumably take form dilemmas best self necessarily best family zube 1972 study moral messages women magazines showed culture thinking conflict evolved decades mid twentieth century 1940s consistent message family needs take precedence needs self subjugated best marriage 1960s priority reversed 412 r f baumeister m muraven depicted right duty break free unsatisfying marriage sake benefiting cultivating self patterns suggest identity regarded important value base marriage society fatally disrupted widespread divorce people applying logic filial bonds result catastrophic abandoned children take care prospect conflict value self value caring children genuine view evidence parenthood lowers happiness life reviews see spanier lewis 1980 bernard 1982 glenn mclanahan 1982 baumeister 1991 urgent social importance people maintain widespread contrary belief children increases happiness important culture continues insist duty children take precedence duty oneself note issues facing late twentieth century adolescents result conflict view good self parents society demand rebellion society values frequently observed adolescence result conflict needs selfhood perception demanded implications regarding death identity major value base effective solve societal problems work motivation tends present individuals difficult problem late life obviously self ceases exist death extent self furnished positive value life strivings death nullifies value done contrast value actions based outlives self long term religious political scientific context death affect value accomplished modern identity value base added new dimension threat death people feared death obvious reasons death means end life threatens wipe value life consistent aries 1981 concluded people modern west troubled afraid death predecessors extent idea death collectively avoided repressed modern adolescents formed identities threatened death adults stable sense identity account risk taking adolescents adolescents formed identity behave adults earlier eras regard person additionally suggests developmental changes adolescents perception death mirror development self adolescents formed identity troubled thought death behave ways avoid repress idea death area needs considerably research answer important questions relationship adolescents development fear death conclusion identity transformed response modern culture need new sources value history morals values provided potent counterforce 413 identity adaptation inclinations act ways served self considered morally good things benefit self new moral role selfhood adaptation cultural value gap resultant alterations nature identity effects ripple self basic roles relationships uniqueness issue identity development facing modern adolescents desire individuality particular desire identity unique people feel special different goal personal development fulfillment partially response wish uniqueness people believe average better people see taylor brown 1988 desire uniqueness adaptation two separate historical trends society culture particular changes upbringing encouraged people feel unique special important changes instilled need feel unique valuable hand changes society allow people opportunities feel unique special important interactions people transient deep mass media advertising trends rise mass society uniqueness elusive short people need feel special difficult fulfill modern society adolescents develop identity adaptation opposing pressures upbringing historical changes led increased desire individuality uniqueness particular changes child rearing created need feel special important previous modern era child mortality extremely high likely parents emotionally attached children fear children die additionally parents children ensure survive help work farm take care parents aged children treated value depended unique special individuals extent unwanted burden work receive individualized attention made feel important parents stone 1977 described upper class parents early england send newborn infants countryside nursed despite greater risk death behaviors made children feel unique special parents give children name hope survive carry name short uniqueness encouraged supported extent today changes medicine hygiene public health society practices died fact mortality declined greatly number children parents decreased parents try spend great deal time caring children strongly intimately emotionally attached right start special emotional attachment parents children marital intimacy focal meaning purpose family contrast greater economic 414 r f baumeister m muraven social functions predominated earlier times e g burgess locke 1945 typical child receives great deal individualized attention love people grow feeling special important supported uniqueness lack support uniqueness modern child rearing instilled people increasingly strong desire feel special unique modern culture restricted opportunities fulfill need modern urban environment increased frequency interactions strangers remain superficial party relatively easily replaced quite different small town village earlier eras personal family history known interaction partners undercuts social validation uniqueness modern society late twentieth century society people aware people experiences background making feel unique mass media advertisement help make people advertising designed persuade large segment population behave ways products people slight insight behavior aware homogeneity society people unique individual hindered knowledge true lack uniqueness trying make strong statement methodologically difficult question people actually unique historical period point simply modern society make difficult feel unique time cultural changes placed special value emphasis pursuit feelings identity adapted changes increased need feel special unique context restricts opportunities achieve feeling development identity changed particular development inner self method highlighting individuality described inner self grown time today development special unique inner self great importance people western society today puts great emphasis inner experiences personal special unique qualities individual personal fulfillment sense complete unique individual special talents fully realized goal adolescents society today tries important oneself unique individual trying develop oneself fullest issues identity development identity crises involve best differentiate oneself modern adolescents developing unique special identity quite important means accomplishing far clear empty claims special unique increasingly strident demands authorities figures constantly recognize presumptive uniqueness increasingly common see adler 1992 possible current cultural fascination self esteem linked cultural changes principle high self esteem believing oneself unique virtue membership privileged elite successful ethnic group modern america self esteem based heavily 415 identity adaptation individual traits achievements opposed collective memberships see triandis 1989 baumeister 1991 evidence indicates modern americans fairly successful pursuit self esteem managing convince superior average person multiple ways e g taylor brown 1988 taylor 1989 self deceptive pursuit feelings individual superiority crucially important satisfying need see oneself unique context society makes true uniqueness difficult achieve cultivation sense identity emphasizes special individual uniqueness adaptation important cultural historical changes view motivation unique intensified modern child rearing practices social context tends place serious obstacles fulfillment desire truly unique people settle superficial signs markers furnish subjective feeling impression illusion uniqueness conclusion selfhood universal precultural basic sense people selves serve basic functions society culture provide context self operate adapts far reaching important ways nature adult identity seen result basic nature selfhood sociocultural context proposed adaptation appropriate characterizing compromise identity simply product society inevitable product preprogrammed developmental pattern entirely result free choices individual simply compromise opposing forces individual needs socialization pressures people simply turn society dictates develop identity regard sociocultural context proposed identity reflects adaptation individual self sociocultural context self constructs definition allows get reasonably social environment insofar task adolescence formation adult identity adaptation processes important visible period life elaborate model adaptation described identities changed 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