Volume 1   Number 1      Spring 2006 

The Relational Self in Historical Context
Kenneth J. Gergen
Swarthmore College
pp. 119-124 [pdf     doc] 
ABSTRACT. The historical context giving rise to the individualized self is nicely developed by Stam. Yet, we also find in his review of developments in self theory a subtle shift from concern with isolated individuals to selves in relationship. The present offering first expands on this movement, proposing that concerns with relational as opposed to individual functioning are becoming dominant. A sketch is then offered of major shifts in both the intellectual and cultural context that favor developments in relational theorizing. Finally, the focus shifts to the social and political potentials of these new modes of theorizing.  
Keywords: relational self, dialogical self, culture, technology, globalization