chapter  17
12 Pages

The Individual Self, Relational Self, and Collective Self: A Commentary

More recent formulations have continued to posit distinctions between facets of the self, though rarely within the context of a comprehensive theory of self-functioning. Among the most productive of these distinctions have been those contrasting public and private selves (Scheier & Carver, 1981), actual and possible selves (Higgins, 1987; Markus & Nurius, 1986), ideal and ought selves (Higgins, 1987), personal and social identities (Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987; Turner, Oakes, Haslam, & McCarty, 1994), and independent and interdependent self-construals (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). These multipartite models differ from their predecessors in a variety of respects. On the theoretical front, they are considerably more modest in their aims and circumscribed in their scope than earlier models. None provides a comprehensive theory of self; instead, each is explicitly partial, deSigned to capture well one particular aspect of the self's functioning. Indeed, many of these recent distinctions were motivated not by an interest in the self per se, but rather by an attempt to understand a particular phenomenon or set of phenomena in which the self plays a critical role.