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Lecture 7 Self Esteem and Social Interaction Objectives To understand the fundamental nature of self esteem in human life To understand the paradoxical drive of heroism and self esteem To understand how social interaction serves as the stage of self esteem To appreciate the fragility and contingency of identity and selfhood The Heroic Drive Humans have the need to expand their own life force and life meaning beyond themselves they have the need to be beyond their immediate self May take the form of a cultural achievement like a high status carreer a victory in a competition or an intense experience or peak moment had through art religion sex or athletics Not just for great people it drives everybody The heroic drive toward specialness is called self esteem o Precarious it s what all of us want o Don t confuse praise with self esteem o The child with healthy self esteem knows she is loved feels special about who she is and feels good about things she produces and does The world is a place of opportunity for her that she approaches with confidence The person who pulls back from embodying heroism lives the life of the wasteland o Life lived without passion integrity or zeal o They are against the rules but still following all of them o Complacent o Stick around with their shitty jobs and shitty friends o Life unlived Nothing is all right all wrong How is my need to stand out need to blend in contributing to my own self meaning The human drive toward heroism is manifest in two paradoxical needs o One need deals with the extent to which people are driven to merge with a group community or a purpose larger than one s self Agape o Other need deals with people that want to stand out and apart from their cohorts to feel a sense of specialness Eros o We need to be able to stand apart and be apart The better people are at balancing both of these skills are more socially skilled o Hedonic treadmill when you attach your personal worth to material goods Heroic Belonging our heroism comes from expanding the power prestige membership and lifespan of our group rather than our individual selves People afraid of death and mortality and also of life and their own potential talents powers and gifts transfer it to their heroes In one sense having a hero allows the ordinary person to expand their own life force vicariously without having to risk life s pitfalls The meaning and significance of one s own life expands the more people give in to the truth and power of their heroes o Think about you and one direction You strived to make charity efforts in lou of their red nose day campaign You do things because they do good things and feels like their the drive to make you do those things One problem with heroes is that they can cast a nexus of unfreedom around their followers we don t have to do things because our heroes will do them for us Another problem with heroes is that many of them need villains and if the appropriate villain can t be found they can make them be out of whom ever appears convenient With the villain in sight the hero with an armed follower both content on expanding the meaning of their own lives through heroic belonging can wreak the chaos of a holocaust o If you ve gotta be a hero who will your villain be If you make your hero part of ailments then you re a hero but if your villain is another group of people then you re just at war Why do we have to have a certain group of people Why do we make it their fault We need to learn to not hate people that are simply misguided Face to Face Interaction as a Heroic Arena Face social identity How I want you to feel about me Something that we do not know that we have It s self esteem made social and then negotiated between 2 people Face is what you do identity is what you take away from your experiences with your face In our social encounter our inner sense of esteem is exposed to others socially as our sense of face Like esteem face is not something one owns rather face resides in the stream of events between people The problem with self esteem is that it is both the most precarious and precious thing a person has o With it life is meaningful and the world is a place of opportunity Without it one feels worthless in a world devoid of possibilities o The more we care about the opinion of others the more we make ourselves their slaves Social encounters are a hallowed event the sacred Deity honored is nothing less than self esteem of both participants In every social encounter we entrust our self esteem to the other o Civil inattention helps us save someone else s face The person that has to down others is the most insecure o Compliments are face challenging because they limit our ability to respond o We make decisions every time we re with other people o Who we are changes as we are put in different situations o We learn face by watching our parents parents are important sources of self esteem I don t have a face other people have mine and I have theirs the seeableness of my face exists only through other people When we see another seeing us regarding us who we are to them is presenced for us upon their face o I have to be somebody to somebody or I am nobody Do I have the right friends Do they know they re valuable to me Friends are a reflection on who we are Our sense of face is negotiated in our enactment of self in interaction with others We may try to gain face in class protect our face or attack the face of others As Goffman explains face status and social position is not a thing to be possessed and displayed it is a pattern of appropriate conduct that is articulated in the enactment of self What s the difference between Face and identity Face is something we do identity is something we take away from the interaction Recognizing the face of another through the ritual care attests to the sacredness of other human beings These rituals are mostly attended from they are unconscious habits of cultural behavior It is only when someone blunders says something that embarrasses another or themselves that we attend to these ritual behaviors of face maintenance p 70 Facework describes our ritualized attempts to avoid losing face and experiencing embarrassment or loss of poise and to maintain for others an impression of self respect o How do you save face If someone makes a mistake you can pretend you don t see it and reassure them that its okay or you can give them advice on what they should do to make it better Are you able to critique the …

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UD PSYC 256 - Lecture 7 – Self Esteem and Social Interaction

Course: Psyc 256-
Pages: 8
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