Striving for Specific Identities: The Social Reality of Self-Symbolizing

Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)


Striving for specific identities (e.g., lawyer, mother, pious person) is not a strategic effort at self-presentation, but is rather a nonstrategic approach to self-construction. To understand which form such self-constructive efforts need to take in order to be effective, it is necessary to examine how individuals conceive of the intended identity goal state. My analysis of this issue—which draws on Lewin’s ideas on goal striving—suggests that people define the goal of possessing a certain identity as located on the plane of social reality. That is, one feels it is necessary that others be aware of one’s claim to possession of a particular identity.


Social Reality Impression Management Motivational Basis Target Person Social Approval 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1986

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