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ERIC Number: ED265953
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Pages: 17
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Development of a Transactional Self.
Bruner, Jerome S.
It is in the nature of the development of the self that it becomes possible to maintain continuity in development while providing the basis for change. Language forms the self by making it possible for a user of language to relate himself as agent to others and to the culture. The formation of self depends powerfully on the meanings that a human being shares with others. Joint reference achieves a kind of union or solidarity. Language, used in a certain way, constitutes shared, public realities of its own. Such realities are one of the means whereby, once words are uttered, the silent self becomes the transactional self. The sincerity conditions of speech acts, properly managed, provide an extraordinary scaffold for the construction of self, for in meeting those conditions, decisions about silence, indirection, manipulativeness, and the like are made. Learning how to use language involves both learning the culture and learning how to take stances that are "personal." In acquiring language one becomes a member of the culture and one becomes one's own self. In the light of the foregoing, classic views about the nature of early endowment and the direction of growth need re-examination: they are considered under the headings of egocentrism, the private self, unmediated conceptualism, and tripartitism, or the analytic separation of human functions, such as perception, feeling, thinking, and action, which through cultural means are kept related and become fused into self-directing patterns--ways of being a self. (RH)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A