Disclaimer: English Kinda Thing

The sole purpose of the "English Kinda Thing" is to document my attempts to correct my own mistakes in standard English usage and to share the resources I find. In no way do I attempt to teach nobody English through these blurbs--just as I intend not to teach nobody to be a neurotic and psychotic handicap in Ratology Reloaded or Down with Meds! :-)

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Markus & Kitayama (1991) Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation

Some notes/direct quotes I took from Markus and Kitayama (1991).  Given the time constraint, limited reflection provided.

Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Psychological review, 98(2), 224. 

Based on what I gather from the following quote, the theory of  the independent and interdependent construals is a way of looking at the self.
"The current analysis focuses on just one variation in what people in different cultures can come to believe about themselves.  This one variation concerns what they believe about the relationship between the self and others and, especially, the degree to which they see themselves as separate from others or as connected with others.  We suggest that the significance and the exact functional role that the person assigns to the other when defining the self depend on the culturally shared assumptions about the separation or connectedness between the self and others." (P. 226)

p. 226

Th independent construal
"This view of the self derives from a belief in the wholeness and uniqueness of each person's configuration of internal attribute....  Within a given culture, however, individuals will vary in the extent to which they are good cultural representatives and construe the self in the mandated way.
The independent self must, of course, be responsive to the social environment... social responsiveness often, if not always, derives from the need to strategically determine the best way to express or assert the internal attributes of the self.  Others, or the social situation in general, are important, but primarily as standards of reflected appraisal, or as sources that can verify and affirm the inner core of the self." (p. 226)
"[A] representation of the self-in-relation-to-others or to a particular social relation ... usually have as their referent some individual desire, preference, attribute, or ability (e.g., "I am creative).  For those with independent construals of the self, it is these inner attributes that are most significant in regulating behavior and that are assumed, both by the actor and by the observer alike, to be diagnostic of the actor.  Such representations of the inner self ... can be called core conceptions, salient identities, or self-schemata." (p. 226-227)
The interdependent construal
"Experiencing interdependence entails seeing oneself as part of an encompassing social relationship and recognizing that one's behavior is determined, contingent on, and, to a large extent organized by what the actor perceives to be the thoughts, feelings, and actions of others in the relationship." (p. 227)
"This view of the self and the relationship between the self and others features the person not as separate from the social context but as more connected and less differentiated from others... [In] an interdependent formulation of the self, these others become an integral part of the setting, situation, or context to which the self is connected, fitted, and assimilated.  The exact manner in which one achieves the task of connection, therefore, depends crucially on the nature of the context, particularly the others present in the contexts.  Others thus participate actively and continuously in the definition of the interdependent self." (p. 227)
"The interdependent self also possesses and expresses a set of internal attributes... [, which] must instead be constantly controlled and regulated to come to term with the primary task of interdependence." (p. 227)
"The understanding of one's autonomy as secondary to, and contained by, the primary task of interdependence distinguishes interdependent selves from independent selves, for whom autonomy and its expression is often afforded primary significance." (p. 227)
"An interdependent self cannot be properly characterized as a bounded whole, for it changes structure with the nature of the particular social context... What is focal and objectified in an interdependent self, then, is not the inner self, but the relationship of the person to other actors." (p. 227)
"An interdependent view of self does not result in a merging of self and other, nor does it imply that one must always be in the company of others to function effectely, or that people do not have a sense of themselves as agents who are the origins of their own action... Agent exercise of control, however, is directed primarily to the inside and to those inner attributes... This can be contrasted with the Western notion of control, which primarily implies an assertion of the inner attributes and a consequent attempt to change the outer aspects." (p. 228)

Consequences of an Independent or an Interdependent View of the Self

The following table from Markus and Kitayama presents an abridged summary of the hypothetical differences between independent and interdependent construals of the self.  
"These construals of self and other are conceptualized as part of a repertoire of self-relevant schemata used to evaluate, organize, and regulate one's experience and action. As schemata, they are patterns of one's past behaviors as well as patterns for one's current and future behavior... [This] assortment of self-regulatory schemata [was coined] the self-system." P. 228)
p. 230

Crazy me.  Why busting my behind on this 11-copy book?  A good way to view it is that having a well-developed interdependent selfconstrul and the associated other-focused emotions "can motivate genuine, other-oriented, altruistic behaviors, without any conscious, or even unconscious, calculation of individual payoff, and as such serve as the important glue of interdependent relationships." (p. 248)  How applicable is it in my scenario? Donno.  Though, honestly, I think I would still be considered a strange bird in Taiwan. 8-O lol

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