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Unit 1. The Cultural Self Unit 1.

The Cultural Self


Our development is largely influenced by membership to
FAMILY SCHOOLS
crucial social groups that shape various aspects of our Next to family, schools form a significant part of our
self; from our beliefs system, values orientation, and
social self. Our world perspectives go bigger as we get
manifest behavior. Indeed, we are born into a family and
exposed to more people and a formal set of standards;
toward the end of our lives, we evaluate our self in the
but this time, we are expected to meet a certain criteria
context of our contribution to society, quality of our
of achievement and oftentimes, in collaborative learning
social relationships, and how we have helped touch lives
conditions. We harness our knowledge that we get from
of people we have directly encountered. our mentors and apply the socialization skills we got from
our families in developing relationships with our school
At the beginning of life, we are surrounded by our family. peers. The information we glean from books, lectures of
It is the most pervading, influential social that group that our mentors, insights from our classmates are
impacts our self in the entire course of development. The assimilated and imbibed consequently in the inner
conceptions we hold about our world, the values we
recesses of our self.
uphold in making choices and decisions, and our habits
and persistent behavior have been formed in the context
of our respective families.

Bio ecological Systems Theory


Unit 1. The Cultural Self
SCHOOLS (Urie Bronfenbrenner, 1935)
Aside from one’s family and school, our communities also The latest model of Bronfenbrenner’s Bio Ecological
shape our social self to a large extent. From an Systems of Development explains an individual’s
anthropological and sociological perspective, our cultural social development, using biological, environmental,
beliefs and practices are influenced by what our
communities and societies dictate. Values such as faith in and ecological lenses. The theory explains the
God, respect for the elderly, task persistence & bidirectional influence of individual and systems to
dedication, and love for our country are often the
products of communal settings we belong to and societal each other and posits five specific systems that shape
expectations imposed on us. an individual’s progress. These are:

Microsystem Exosystem
Chronosystem
Mesosystem Macrosystem
Microsystem Exosystem
It refers to institutions and social groups that the individual has direct This system focuses on a social setting that an individual has no direct interaction
contact and interaction with, including families, peers, schools, religious within but nevertheless affects their development. An example of this could be the
institutions, and the immediate neighbourhood. work setting of the parentsa; a major company decision that results to the loss of job
of either parent will have a significant impact to the child.
Mesosystem
Macrosystem
This system refers to the interconnections among aspects of the
microsystems that impact on the individual concerned. Pragmatic examples This system encompasses the larger cultural context in which the individual resides in.
Cultural contexts may include the socioeconomic status of his country, issues of
of this would include parent-teacher relationships (PTA), parent and peers
ethnicity, societal values embraced by social institutions, cultural beliefs and practices
connections, family and parish relations, and the like. The focus of the
handed down from generation to generation, and media content.
relationship is to the individual, as a family member and as a student.

Individualism-Collectivism Model
Chronosystem (Hazel Rose Markus & Shinobu Kitayama, 1991)
The following diagram shows how all these This model is used to explain large amounts of variation seen
The latest system of Bronfenbrenner’s theory focuses on patterns of environmental systems get together and influence individual in human behavior, social interaction, and personality. This
events, including sociohistorical events from a specific to a larger context. Graduation development. theory further explains the differences in people and/or
groups. But the question is how?
from college would entail changes in the social self as the individual is expected to One of the controversies in the study of culture is the
work and contribute to family and society at large. Social events such as political dichotomy known as the West vs. Rest. Based on the study of
rallies, elections, and other of a similar nature would also influence the social self in a Markus and Kitayama (1999), people from the west have this
individualistic (independent) culture. In this culture, people
very vital way. tend to give higher value on the needs and accomplishments
of the individual rather than the group (e.g. United States).
But this does not mean that these people are “selfish”. It only
means that individual accomplishments or achievements
matter to them most. In other words, their growth is focused
on the improvement of themselves.
Table 1. Individualistic VS. Collectivistic I vs. Me (Herbert Mead, 1934)

Looking at the table, you may say that you have Imagine yourself alone. Nobody is looking at you
some traits that belong to the individualistic or nobody is staring. Suddenly, there’s a loud
culture, and you may also have some traits that thunder. How would you react? Maybe, some of
belong to the collectivistic culture. Do not worry, you will scream or shout. Some of you might hide
this is possible. Remember that the Philippines is under their bed. Others might hold on to their
the melting pot of the world, meaning to say, our rosary and start saying a prayer. Now, imagine
culture is influenced by different cultures as well, yourself in a classroom. Your classmates are there.
thus, affecting our self- construal. But one of the Your teacher is in front, giving a lesson while you
things to be considered in studying this notion is are listening. All of a sudden, a loud thunder is
that there are advantages and disadvantages in heard. How would you react? Well, it is possible
having a particular self- construal. For instance, if that you will act differently. You will, of course,
you have an independent construal of the self, you consider the following: 1) your age; 2) your
may have the tendency to be motivated by your gender; 3) your environment (in this case, the
own, hence, being too competitive. classroom), and; 4) the people who are present
during the incident.

Module 3. Unfolding the Social Self Module 3. Unfolding the Unit 2. The Socio-Digital Self
Unit 1. The Cultural Self Social Self This unit discusses the impact of
social media platforms and other
This module focuses on the social aspects of digital landscapes on self
Module Assessment self representation and development. As representation. Also, the unit
Check your workbook: social beings, individuals tend to associate and tackles some of the issues on
relate oneself to others. Undeniably, social interpersonal relationships in
• Exercise No. 1 .0 Me, Myself and Society (pg. 58-59)
processes and systems are strong influencers virtual communities.
• Exercise No. 2.0 My Social Self Map (pg. 60-61) of one’s being; thus, several of our traits and
characteristics are founded on certain social Click Here to Begin
Assignment No. 6 factors: the cultural, digital, and economic
Metacognitive Reading Report (pg. 62) aspects of one’s social life.
Unit 3. The Material/
Readings: Unit 1. The Cultural Self Economic SelfThis unit tackles
• Ellemers, N., Spears, R. & Doose, B. (2002). Self and Social Identity, Annu. Rev. This unit tackles how the socio-cultural
about how we maintain
Psychol. 53:161–186 aspects (from the microsystem to macro
extensions of ourselves through
• Markus, H. & Kitayama, S. (1991). Cultures and the Self: Implications for system) influence our development as we age our material goods and
Cognition, Emotion and Motivation, Psychological Review (98) 2, 224-253 and grow. maintenance of lifestyles, within
the context of what society
• Bailey, S. The I and the Me(dia): The Contribution of Recent NeoMeadian values as needs and wants and
Philosophy to an Understanding of the Media Saturated Social Environment, what do these material goods say
Retrieved October 2017 from http://www.media- about ourselves and sense of self.
ecology.org/publications/MEA_proceedings/v3/Bailey03.pdf (whole article 14
pages)
Unit 2. The Socio-Digital Self Diagnostics
This unit discusses the impact of social media
platforms and other digital landscapes on self ü Learning Checkpoint
representation. Also, the unit tackles some of the
issues on interpersonal relationships in virtual Do you AGREE or DISAGREE?
communities.
Ø Everything we post on our social media will remain there
Intended learning outcomess
forever.

At the end of this Unit, students are expected to Ø Through the use of social media, you can feel invisible.
demonstrate the following:

Ø How we present ourselves through the use of social is the same with how
1. Discuss and elaborate the different concepts of the digital self. we present ourselves to the real world.
2. Identify the different behaviors that show online disinhibition.
Ø There is no authority in the virtual world.
3. Synthesize and evaluate the different influences of social media to one’s social self.

Ø We are more confident when we cannot see the people we are talking to.

The Socio-Digital Self Digital Identity


Sociological perspectives tell that people have “role
identities”. These are the characters and the roles an
With the rise of technology, our way of socializing has
individual creates as a member of a particular social
significantly changed. Before, when we wish to talk to a
position. The ‘self’, on the other hand, is the hierarchical
person, we really need to approach them personally. But now,
ordering of identities by salience. It is known that the
when we want to talk to a person, whether they are near or
greater the commitment on an identity is, the greater the
far, they are just a social network away. One of the innovations
that improved our socialization processes is the use of social salience of this identity. Hence, salience of identity impacts
media behavioral choices in a situation.

However, with the presence of the internet, our identity is


affected. As mentioned, people tend to separate himself
from his physical body while engaged in social media, thus,
disembodiment. It is known that social media allows us to
adopt identities independent from our bodies.
There are six factors that cause online
Online Disinhibition Effect (Suler, 2004) disinhibition, these are the following:
When we behave differently in virtual spaces than we would in
a face-to-face interactions, we loosen up, we become less
1. Dissociative Anonymity “You Don’t Know Me”
restrained and we tend to express ourselves more openly. This
phenomenon is known as online disinhibition In virtual interactions, we can hide some or all of our identity. With this, we create a separation between our real
self and our virtual identity. By being unknown, we tend to feel protected. We can be who we want to be and we
There are two main categories of behavior that fall under the can say whatever we want to say. By being unknown, we can display behaviors that are not present during offline.
online disinhibition effect, the benign disinhibition and toxic Anonymity helps you feel less vulnerable about self-disclosing and engaging in antisocial or harmful behavior.
disinhibition. Accordingly, the benign disinhibition includes
behavior in which people tend to self-disclose more on the 2. Invisibility “You Can’t See Me”
internet than they would in real life. Also, they tend to go out
Since many of the communications done virtually are through text, this gives us a certain type of invisibility. The
of their way to help someone or show kindness. On the other
hand, toxic disinhibition includes behavior that in which internet further gives us a special kind of shield and keeps you from being physically visible. In virtual interactions,
people tend to use rude language, threats, and visiting places we cannot always be sure where or when someone is actually present. This virtual invisibility gives us the courage to
of pornography, crime, and violence on the internet. They may do things that we perhaps would not do otherwise. This invisibility also lets us misrepresent ourselves. For instance,
also go to places they might not have been to in real life. a man can represent himself as a woman, or vice versa. This of course is impossible offline.

There are six factors that cause online There are six factors that cause online
disinhibition, these are the following: disinhibition, these are the following:
3. Asynchronicity “See You Later”
Whatever is happening in the cyberspace doesn’t happen in real time. This asynchronicity is also known as the
5. Dissociative Imagination “It’s All a Game”
emotional hit and run (K. Munro, unpublished observations, 2003). You can post anything right now such as
The virtual world is in a different space entirely. This includes imaginary characters who are completely separated
personal, emotional or even political opinions. You can leave it there and go back to it again later. Soon, you will find
out how people react to your post. You can also leave the cyberworld once you are not happy with what you see on from the real world. Thus, the virtual life can be viewed more as a game versus the real world interaction. This can
lead to a feeling of escapism and can make people think that they can adopt and shed a certain character by simply
your newsfeed. With this, you can temporarily escape the harsh things people tend to post on social media. Also,
logging on and off.
through asynchronicity, we can think first before we react to others’ post.

6. Minimized Status and Authority “Your Rules Don’t Apply Here”


4. Solipsistic Introjection “It’s all in my Head”
Most of the time, we see and respect an authority because of their clothes, name titles, body gestures and their
When we don’t know what a virtual person looks or sounds like, we tend to assign traits to those individuals.
Interactions with this introjected character feel more imaginary. In addition, when we read another’s message, we environments. But in a cyberspace, we don’t see these things. Thus, we are not intimidated by their presence online
tend to hear their voices using our own voice. We sometimes subvocalize as we read, thus, it leads to a perception even though we know that they hold a certain position in the society. We are more willing to speak out and
misbehave without possible disapproval and punishment from authority figures.
that we are talking to ourselves.
Module 3. Unfolding the Social Self
Unit 2. The Socio-Digital Self
Disinhibition and Personality Managing Online Disinhibition Module Assessment
Check your workbook:
Even though there are people who exhibit
• Don’t post or send anything you would be • Exercise No. 1 .0 My Social Media (MSM) (pg. 68-69)
online disinhibition, it should be noted that not
embarrassed for certain others to see.
every person will be disinhibited in the same • Exercise No. 2.0 A Pleadge to Responsible Networking (pg. 70)
way or to the same level in virtual interactions. • Do be careful about over-sharing.
Individuals can be predisposed to being more • Don’t hang out with the “wrong crowd” Assignment No. 7
disinhibited based on personality. The intensity online. Metacognitive Reading Report (pg. 72)
of a person’s underlying feelings, needs, drives • Don’t hang out with the “wrong crowd” Readings:
and the likes affect susceptibility to online offline. • Belk, R. (2013). Extended Self in a Digital World, Journal of Consumer Research,
disinhibition as well. • Do consider your emotional state before Vol. 40, No. 3 (October 2013), pp. 477-500
virtually posting or responding to anything. • 2. Bakardjieva, M. (2010) ‘The Internet in Everyday Life: Exploring the Tenets
Even though not all online disinhibitions are • Do consider the reaction individuals are and Contributions of Diverse Approaches”, in M. Consalvo and C. Ess (eds.) The
bad, it is better and safer for us to create a Blackwell Handbook of Internet Studies, 59-82. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. (the
expecting from toxic disinhibition.
digital footprint that is worth looking at. The whole article 1-24)
• Do search for yourself online.
following are some ways to manage our online • 3. Hol Lapidot-Lefler, N., & Barak, A. (2015). The benign online disinhibition
disinhibition. effect: Could situational factors induce self-disclosure and prosocial behaviors?.
Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace, 9(2), article 3.
doi: 10.5817/CP2015-2-3 (the whole article 1-19)

Module 3. Introduction to Unit 2. The Socio-Digital Self


UNIT 3. The Material/Economic Self
Understanding the Self This unit discusses the impact of
social media platforms and other This unit tackles about how we maintain
This module focuses on the social aspects of digital landscapes on self extensions of ourselves through our material goods
self representation and development. As representation. Also, the unit and maintenance of lifestyles, within the context of
social beings, individuals tend to associate and tackles some of the issues on what society values as needs and wants and what
relate oneself to others. Undeniably, social interpersonal relationships in do these material goods say about ourselves and
processes and systems are strong influencers virtual communities. sense of self.
of one’s being; thus, several of our traits and
characteristics are founded on certain social Intended learning outcomes
factors: the cultural, digital, and economic
aspects of one’s social life. At the end of this Unit, students are expected to
Unit 3. The demonstrate the following:
Unit 1. The Cultural Self
Material/Economic Self
This unit tackles how the socio-cultural aspects
This unit tackles about how we
(from the microsystem to macro system) influence
maintain extensions of ourselves 1. Determine the different factors that contribute to one’s material self.
our development as we age and grow.
through our material goods and
maintenance of lifestyles, within 2. Identify needs from wants and how these are related to one’s material self.
the context of what society
values as needs and wants and 3. Discuss the importance of the material things that one possesses and how these things contribute to
what do these material goods say the self.
about ourselves and sense of self.
Diagnostics The Material/Economic Self
ü Learning Checkpoint
While it is true that most of the material things that we
Do you AGREE or DISAGREE? possess are not the things that we need, it is equally true
that what we have in our lives can tell other people who we
really are. Our possessions, gadgets, properties and
Ø We can be defined based on our material possessions. belongings tell a lot of ourselves. These things were chosen
by us because we see ourselves in these things. The
products that we purchase are the products in which we see
ourselves with. For instance, the perfume you buy and wear
Ø You are what you purchase. is the perfume you think best suits you. By knowing who we
are, we also need to know what we want. But the dilemma
remains however, that our wants are not exactly what we
Ø Our possessions tell the people how rich or poor we are. need. Before we proceed with the material aspect of
ourselves, we have to know first the difference between
wants and needs.
Ø We buy products based on its significance and not on its brand.

Ø Things that we have are all symbols of who we truly are.

The Meaning of Things (Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi)


Wants vs. Needs

Most of us confuses wants with needs. Some people think that they are just the same. However, Unknown to some, the things that we use, own, and surround ourselves with might accurately reflect our
these two are different from each other. We have learned before that needs are the things that we personality. Needless to say, the clothes that we wear, the car that we drive and the furnishings of our home, are all
cannot live without. These include food, shelter, clothing, water, air, medical care and sex. On the expressions of ourselves, even when they act as disguises rather than as reflections. It only means to say that the
other hand, wants are things that we just like but not necessarily our needs. These include a new things that surround us are inseparable from who we are. In other words, objects or things are intimately related to
cellphone, a new car, jewelries and the likes. Regardless whether the things that we have are needs the self.
or wants, we should always remember that these things tell something about ourselves.
It is also tantamount to say that whatever material things we are having in our lives are product of our choices. This
only means that the things and the product that we purchase tell a lot of stories about ourselves.

Accordingly, the material environment that surrounds us is rarely neutral. It can either make our lives very chaotic in
a sense that it is too random and disorganized, or it helps us to give purpose and direction to our lives. These only
prove that the material things that we have are connected to who we are now.
Utility and Significance in Everyday Objects (John Heskett) Semiotics: Objects as ‘signs’ (Roland Barthes)
Aside from the association of the self and the material things that we have, we should also know the function and To further understand the term significance, Roland Barthes helped in further understanding our material
significance of the things that we have for ourselves. It is not enough that we know that we have a connection with possession through semiotics. Roland Barthes who is a French critical theorist, was one of the first to observe the
our material things. It is also important to know their uses. For Heskett, there are two important things that we need relationship between the people and their objects. According to him, the objects that we have could be decoded in
to know with our material things. These are: order to convey subliminal messages.

• Utility. This is concerned with how things work and serve a practical purpose. This is also concerned with efficiency During the 1950’s, Barthes popularized the field of semiology or the study of objects as signs through a number of
derived from technological and material factors. (e.g., kitchen knife- a primary utility used as a cutting tool). newspaper articles that read everyday objects and practices. In 1957, these were collated into his book entitled
Mythologies.
• Significance. This is concerned with how forms assume meaning in the ways they are used, or the roles and
meaning assigned to them. It is also concerned with how objects become powerful symbols or icons of habit and One of the contents in the book Mythologies is about the new (in 1950s) Citroen DS:
ritual. As per Haskett, this can be quite separate to their function. (e.g., necklace- its function is to beautify the The new Citroen was a car with sleek lines that was technologically advanced for its time. This was
neck, but is significant to a person who holds a position in the society). compared by advertisers to something spiritual or magical. The name ‘DS’ came from the French word
‘deesse’ which means goddess. It was deliberate on the part of the manufacturers because they wanted to
• Significance, in contrast to efficiency, has more to do with expression and meaning. However, meanings are often perpetuate the idea of the car as an ‘otherworldly’ object.
culturally determined. For some, even the smallest utilitarian objects are capable of embodying values.

Module 3. Unfolding the Social Self


Semiotics: Objects as ‘signs’ (Roland Barthes) Unit 3. The Material/Economic Self

In this analysis, it was obvious that the object (the car) and its ‘other’ meaning were unpacked. This analysis is simply
Module Assessment
called semiotics. For Barthes, objects are not just things but are reflections of the wider lives of communities and Check your workbook:
individuals.
• Exercise No. 1 .0 Wants and Needs, Utility and Significance,
All these suggests that objects act as a complex systems of signs which allow us to read meaning into people, places Signifier and Signified (pg. 76)
and purposes.
• Exercise No. 2.0 The Ultimate Need (pg. 77)
According to Barthes, a sign has 2 elements:
• Signifier (its physical form - a diamond ring)
• Signified (the mental concept it refers to - engaged to be married) Assignment No. 8
Metacognitive Reading Report (pg. 78)
Barthes claimed that all things, verbal or visual, could be viewed as a kind of speech or ‘language’. It is then
tantamount to say that objects can speak, and that even the most ordinary object might be eloquent. Readings:
For example, clothes may have a simple functional meaning such as to cover and protect the body. However, this is
also doubled up as signs. These jeans may construct a meaning and carry a message, which as a member of a • Akerlof, G. & Kranto, R. (2000). Economics and identity, The Quarterly Journal of
culture, we can understand. Economics, Vol 135 (3) (the whole article pg. 1-39)
• Antonova, N. (2014). Economic Identity and Professional Self-Determination,
Athens Journal of Social Sciences. (the whole article pg. 1-12)