The contributions are reviewed of three symbolic interactionists, Baldwin, Cooley, and Mead, for whom the self was primarily a social construction, crafted through the linguistic exchanges (i.e., symbolic interactions) with significant others. Although the symbolic interactionists pointed to critical processes in the normative construction of the self, they did not alert us to the fact that self development dependent upon social interactions could go awry. Four potentia! liabilities of developing a self so dependent upon social processes are discussed: (a) the incorporation of unfavorable opinions about the self, (b) failure to internalize the opinions of others, (c) conflict betvveen socially-constructed multiple selves, and (d) the promotion of false-self behavior.
"Symbolic Interactionism Revisited:
Potential Liabilities for the Self Constructed in the
Crucible of Interpersonal Relationships,"
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly: Vol. 45
, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/mpq/vol45/iss4/7