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ERIC Number: EJ890010
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
"Is that All There Is?" Possible Selves, Self-Change, and Weight Loss
Granberg, Ellen
Social Psychology Quarterly, v69 n2 p109-126 Jun 2006
Possible selves typically are conceptualized as resources that facilitate identity development and that motivate and sustain self-change. The concept of possible selves, however, generally has not been extended to examining the aftermath of personal transformation. In this article I explore the self and social processes that operate during efforts to validate possible selves after self-change is complete. Using data gathered during in-depth qualitative interviews with 46 respondents who sustained weight loss over time, I analyze the role of possible selves in efforts to maintain intentional self-change. Findings show that many possible selves associated with weight loss are not fulfilled, and that the gap between potential and actual selves must be negotiated before persons can consider their weight loss both "successful" and "complete." This gap is bridged by drawing on structural and cultural resources found within processes of self-verification and identity control and in the revision of personal narrative. By combining these resources, persons recognized and negotiated the gap between their expectations and the reality of intentional self-change. (Contains 2 tables and 9 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A