Narrative And The Self As Relationship

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

Social Psychological Studies Of The Self: Perspectives And Programs


This chapter explores the nature of stories of self, both as they are told and lived in social life. It examines the story form—or more formally, the structure of narrative accounts. It then describes the way narratives of the self are constructed within social life and the uses to which they are put. As story advances, it become increasingly clear that narratives of the self are not fundamentally possessions of the individual; rather they are products of social interchange—possessions of the socius. This analysis set the stage for a discussion of lived narrative. The chapter proposes the traditional concept of individual selves is fundamentally problematic. What have served as individual traits, mental processes, or personal characteristics can promisingly be viewed as the constituents of relational forms. The form of these relationships is that of the narrative sequence. Thus, by the end of story it can be found that the individual self has all but vanished into the world of relationship.

Published By

Academic Press


L. Berkowitz

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