Self-Concept Self Concept

790 Words4 Pages
THE SELF CONCEPT 1.1 “A little bit about me”; An introduction to the notion of the self- concept. The basic premise of the self- concept can be depicted as how one subjectively perceives who he or she is in relation to others, it can be dependent on the opinions of others or render the totality of an individual’s thoughts and feelings in reference to himself as an object (Belk, 1988; Cooley, 1902; Rosenberg, 1979). This account provides a simple view of the notion of the self concept. Literature to date completed on the self-concept in a consumer behaviour context is rich in definitions thus providing the researcher with ample explanations surrounding the subject matter (Belk, 1988; Cooley, 1902; Rosenberg, 1979). Belk (1988) uses the terms ‘self ʼ, ‘sense of self’ and ‘identity’ as synonyms for how a person subjectively perceives who he or she is. Simply put, this is a subjective view that one uses to characterise their identity, i.e. their self-concept. 1.2 “My story”; The self-concept narrative. The self concept can be contended as a very complex structure indeed, inclusive of one’s’ self - perception and the manner by which we each self- evaluate based on such contentions. “In all instances he is an object to himself; and he acts toward himself and guides himself in his actions toward others on the basis of the kind of object he is to himself” (Solomon, 2012, p. 321). Concisely, it is the manner by which an individual sees themselves as an object. In this way, Saussure (1959, p.117) in referring to self- concepts states they “are purely differential and defined not by their positive content but negatively by their relations with the other terms of the system”. If Saussure (1959) is correct then this term denotes their indiv... ... middle of paper ... ...ent identity narrative which is made possible through consumption. Baker, Gentry and Kraft (1995, p.414) elaborate on our basic states of existence in noting that “one’s identity is a function of doing, being, and having.” Comparably, these states allow us to come to define who we are. In the same manner, “one’s identity is determined by examining the categories one uses to explain who s/he is in relation to past experiences, to others, and to the future” (Baker, Gentry, & Kraft, 1995, p.413). We each form our selves through endlessly fine-tuning our narratives which we display through our purchasing behaviour as we are orientated towards consumption to preserve our identity. However, identity by nature is neither passive nor solid. Identity is forever reshaping itself (Ahuvia, 2005; Belk, 1988), something that inevitably changes across our various life stages.

More about Self-Concept Self Concept

Open Document