ERIC Number: ED395227
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Reference Count: N/A
Attachment within the Agency/Communion Paradigm.
Sheldon-Keller, Adrienne; West, Malcolm
This paper synthesizes a variety of perspectives, with an emphasis on attachment theory, on the agency/communion polarity as first defined by David Bakan (1966). The question researchers sought to answer was whether or not agency/communion is best approached as a polarity--opposite and opposing forces, forces in the personality which have often been identified as primarily masculine (agency) versus primarily feminine (communion)--or is best viewed as figure/ground. Drawing on results from various researchers, it was agreed that adequate maternal nurturance (communion) was needed for development of the private (agentic) self; there is a necessary equilibrium between self-assertion (agency) and integration (communion) for the proper functioning of a personality; the disparate voices of empowerment of the self (agency) and sustenance of the community (communion) are connected; individuals develop towards self-in-relation (agency within communion); and attachment (communion) contains the affective distress associated with agency. It is concluded that agency and communion are not a polarity but, rather, are a complex figure/ground that best serves development when operating in concert, not in opposition. Contains 13 references. (RJM)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Agency Theory; Polarity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (103rd, New York, NY, August 11-15, 1995).