Contrast and compare notions of self/identity as outlined in the two perspectives covered in topics 1-4 of your Study Guide (cultural theory and psychological personality theories). .
One might reasonably assume that there is a widely accepted definition or description of Self/Identity. Surprisingly, there is not. William James, the philosopher, theologian, and psychologist, termed the self, "the most puzzling puzzle with which psychology has to deal," after a century of research and writing the human self remains a puzzle. (http://www.psych.neu.edu/ISSI/daily.htm).
This essay will provide a comparative discussion on the way these puzzling notions of self are identified by Cultural and Psychological theorists. A specific dimension of this discussion will be the implications for relationships in each perspectives view. (What is my argument?).
Cultural and Psychological theories of self/identity have differing views and have been vigorously debated by theorists because theorists believe that "Old identities, which stabilized the social world for so long, are in decline, giving rise to new identities and fragmenting the modern individual as a unified subject. This so-called 'crisis of identity' is seen as part of a wider process of change which is dislocating the central structures and processes of modern societies and undermining the frameworks which gave individuals stable anchorage in the social world'. Hall (1992: 274).
Psychological Theory of Identity/Self.
Firstly we will consider the Psychological notion of self/identity and how it transitions as society evolves from the Modern to the era of Post Modernist view of self /identity, the Cultural Theory.
According to Psychological theorist, Erikson, , "The sense of identity provides the ability to experience one's self as something that has continuity and sameness, and to act accordingly Erikson (1970) (In Bischof 1970.pg 37). .
Therefore your self/identity is fixed, autonomous and unique, the inner self never changes but as you evolve as a person your identity reacts to outside stimuli but will always remain a fixed part of that person.