To Thine Own Self Be Untrue

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Abstract

Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(5), 362–363. Reviews the book, The Mutable Self: A Self-Concept for Social Change. Sage Library of Social Research, Vol. 59 by Louis A. Zurcher, Jr. (see record 1979-13500-000). This book explores the relationship between categories of self and social change. Some aspects of the book recommend it for use in classes in social psychology. One chapter deals with examples of the life courses of individuals living through the 1950s and ‘60s. Another promotes the theory of the systematic changes that occur in the self images of those living through a personal or social crisis. Yet another chapter deals with the ideal self–the mutable self–which can be compared to an even distribution of the Twenty Statements Test (TST) categories and can be represented by people who are able to form an appropriate self-concept for the different contexts that modern life offers. The last chapter attempts a glimpse into the future of the mutable self. The books style is lucid, the description of the self and the instruments for measuring do not presuppose previous exposure to psychology. The volume is not merely a summary of transmitted knowledge, but also advances a theory of the change and transformation of different types of selfhood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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