Jane Allyn Piliavin- Sociology at UW Madison, bascom graphic

Sociology 961: Seminar, Advanced Social Psychology

Topic: Self and Identity
Fall, 2004

PROFESSOR: Jane Piliavin OFFICE HOURS: MW: 3:45-5:45 and by appointment
Office: 2450 Social Science

E-mail: Jpiliavi@ssc.wisc.edu

Phone: 262-4344 Home: 233-9090
Messages: 262-2921  

Time and Room: 6101 Social Science, 11:00-1:00 Thursday.

This course will focus on theory and research on the self and identity, from both a psychological and a sociological perspective. Most readings will be articles, but there are two books you should buy:

  • Goffman, Erving. 1959. The presentation of self in everyday life. New York: Doubleday. (This is available everywhere, and the edition is not important.)
  • Baumeister, Roy F. (Ed.) 1999. The self in social psychology. Ann Arbor, MI: Edwards Brother. (This one I've ordered from the bookstore.)

Evaluation: As with most graduate seminars, evaluation will be based mainly on a substantial paper (at least 20 pages), in the area of the course. This can be theoretical, empirical, or some combination of the two. All students will meet with the professor face to face early in the semester (weeks 3 and 4) to decide on a topic for their papers. An abstract, outline of the paper, and list of major references and/or data sources must be turned in to the professor in the 7th week of class (October14). Conferences will be held in the following two weeks. Beginning in the fourth week of class, students will select sessions to lead, alone or in pairs. This will involve preparing questions for discussion and circulating them by the class email list no later than Monday of the week in question. This class leadership, other contributions to class discussion, and attendance will also be factored in to the grade.

Topics and readings:


Date Subject

September 2:
First meeting.

Classic conceptualizations of the self. Read:
  • Cooley, "The self as sentiment and reflection"

  • Mead, "The self as social structure"

  • Leary, “Editorial: What is the self? A plea for

    Electronic Reserves

  • James, "The self" in Baumeister, pp. 69-77.

  • September 9: Overview of the field.
    • Baumeister, Roy, F. 1999. The nature and structure of the self: An overview. pp. 1-20. In Baumeister.

    • Gecas, Victor, and Peter J. Burke. 1995. "Self and Identity" in Cook, Fine, and House (Eds.) Sociological perspectives on social psychology. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

    • Howard, Judith. 2000. Social psychology of identities. Annual Review of Sociology. 26:367-393.

    Electronic Reserves

    September 16: Is there a self? Or is all the world a stage and all the men and women merely players?
    • Goffman, E. Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.

    • Snyder,Mark, 1974. Self-monitoring of expressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 58:22-32.

      Electronic Reserves

    • Tice, Dianne. 1999. Self-concept change and self-presentation: The looking-glass self is also a magnifying glass. Pp. 195-217 in Baumeister.

    September 23 :

    Next two weeks: Two theories of identity

    1. Symbolic interaction and role identity theory. Read:
    • Schrauger, J. Sidney, and Schoeneman, Thomas J. Symbolic interactionist view of self-concept: Through the looking glass darkly. Baumeister, pp. 25-42.
    • Turner, Ralph H. 1978, The role and the person. American Journal of Sociology. 84: 1-23. link
    • Stryker, Sheldon. 1980. Symbolic Interactionaism. Chapter 3. Contemporary symbolic interactionism: A statement. Pp. 51-85.
    • Burke, Peter. 1991. Attitudes, behavior, and the self. In Howard, J., & P. Callero, The self-society dynamic: Cognition, emotion, and action. Pp. 189-208
    • Hewitt,J. P. 1989. Chapter 5. Personal and group identity. Dilemmas of the American self. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
    Electronic reserves.

    September 30:

    2. Identity theory and a comparison of the two theories. Read:

    • Tajfel, Henri, and Turner, J.C. 1979. An integrative theory of intergroup conflict. Pp. 33-47 in W.G. Austin and S. Worchel (Eds.) The social psychology of intergroup relations. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
    • Stets, Jan E., and Burke, Peter J. 2000. Identity theory and social identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly. 63: 224-237

    Electronic reserves.

    • Hogg, Michael A., Terry, Deborah J, and White, Katherine M. 1995. A tale of two theories: A critical comparison of identity theory with social identity theory. Social Psychology Quarterly. 58: 255-269. link

    October 7:

    Consideration of specific identities (gender, race, class, sexuality) Read:
    • Phinney, J. 1990 Ethnic identity in adolescents and adults: Review of research. Psychological Bulletin. 108: 499-514.
    • Howard, Judith A. and Alamilla, Ramira. 2001. Gender identity. In D. Vannoy (Ed.) Gender mosaics: Social perspectives. Los Angeles: Roxbury.
    • Gonsiorek, J., and Rudolph, J. 1991. Homosexual identity: Coming out and other developmental events. Pp. 161-176 in J. Gonsiorek and J. Weinrich (Eds.) Homosexuality: Research implications for public policy. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
    •Cornell, Stephen, and Douglas Hartmann. 1998. Chapter 4, A constructionist approach, pp. 72-101, in Ethnicity and race: Making identities in a changing world. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press
    • Rockquemore, Kerry Ann, and Brunsma, David L. Chapters 2 and 5 in Beyond black: Biracial identity in America. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

    Electronic Reserves

    • Demo, David H., and Hughes, Michael. 1990. Socialization and racial identity among black Americans. Social Psychology Quarterly, 53:364-374. link

    • Low, J. 1996. Negotiating identities, negotiating environments: An interpretation of the experiences of students with disabilities. Disability and Society. 11: 235-248. link

    October14 :

    Self and culture, self and social structure, self and intimate relationships:
    • Markus, Hazel Rose and Kitayama, Shinobu. 1991. Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and motivation. Baumeister, pp. 339-367
    • Kashima, Yoshihisa, et al. 1995. Culture, gender, and self: A perspective from individualism-collectivism research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 69: 925-937. Electronic Reserves

    • Gecas, Viktor, and Schwalbe, M.L. 1983. Beyond the looking-glass self: Social structure and efficacy-based self-esteem. Social Psychology Quarterly. 46: 77-88. link
    • Cast, Alicia D., Stets, Jan E., and Burke, Peter J. 1999 Does the self conform to the views of others? Social Psychology Quarterly, 62: 68-82.
    • Blumstein, Phillip. 1991. The production of selves in social relationships. Pp. 305-322 in Howard, J., & P. Callero, The self-society dynamic: Cognition, emotion, and action. Electronic Reserves

    October 21: Self and information processing: the psychological approach. Read:
    • Markus, Hazel. 1977. Self-schemata and processing information about the self. Baumeister, pp. 123-138
    • Rogers,T.B. , Kuiper, N. A. , and Kirker, W. S. 1977. Self-reference and the encoding of personal information. Baumeister, pp. 139-149
    • Higgins, E. Tory . 1987. Self-discrepancy: A theory relating self and affect. Baumeister, pp. 150-176
    • Markus, Hazel, and Wurf, E. 1987. The dynamic self-concept: A social psychological perspective. Annual Review of Psychology. 38: 299-337.
    • Markus, Hazel, and Smith, J. 1981. The influence of self-schemata on the perception of others. pp. 233-262 in N. Cantor and J.F. Kihlstrom (Eds.) Personality, cognition, and social interaction. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    • Rogers, T.B. 1981. A model of the self as an aspect of the human informaton processing system. Pp. 193-214 in N. Cantor and J.F. Kihlstrom (Eds.) Personality, cognition, and social interaction. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Electronic Reserves

    October 28: Self-regulation: self-efficacy, control theory. Read:
    • Bandura, Albert. 1977. Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change, Baumeister, pp. 285-298
    • Carver, Charles S. and Scheier, Michael F. 1982. Control theory: A useful conceptual framework for personality-social, clinical, and health psychology. Baumeister, pp. 299-316
    • Baumeister, Roy F., Bratslavsky, Ellen, Muraven, Mark, and Tice, Dianne M. 1998. Ego depletion: Is the active self a limited resource? Baumeister, pp. 317-336
    • Karoly, P. 1993. Mechanisms of self-regulation: A systems view. Annual Review of Psychology 44a; 23-52.
    • Higgins, E. Tory. 1996. The "self digest": Self-knowledge serving self-regulatory functions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 71: 1062-1-83. Electronic Reserves
    November 4:


    1. What is it, where does it come from?

    • Wells, L. E., and Marwell, Gerald. 1976. Self-esteem: Definitions, distinctions, and models. Pp. 59-76 in Self-esteem: Its conceptualization and measurement. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
    • Rosenberg, Morris. 1979. Beyond self-esteem. Pp. 260-289 in Conceiving the self. New York: Basic Books.
    • Tesser, A. and Campbell, J. 1983. Self-definition and self-evaluation maintenance. Pp. 11-31 In J. Suls and A.G. Greenwald (Eds.) Psychological perspectives on the self, Vol. 2. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
    • Owens, Timothy J. and King, Adam B. Measuring self-esteem. Pp. 56-84 in Owen, T.J., Stryker, S., and Goodman, N. (Eds.) Extending self-esteem theory and research. Electronic Reserves
    • Campbell, Jennifer. 1990 . Self-esteem and clarity of the self-concept. Baumeister, pp. 223-239

    2. What does it DO? (If anything)

    • Leary, M., Tambor, E., Terdal, S., and Downs, D. Self-esteem as an interpersonal monitor: The sociometer hypothesis. Pp. 87-104 in Baumeister.
    • Greenberg, J., Solomon, S., Psyzczynski, T., Rosenblatt, A., Burling, J., Lyon, D., Simon, L, and Pinet, E. Why do people need self-esteem? Converging evidence that self-esteem serves an anxiety-buffering function. Baumeister, pp. 105-118.
    • Baumeister, R.F., Smart, L., and Boden, J. Relation of threatened egotism to violence and aggression: The dark side of high self-esteem. Baumeister, pp. 240-280

    November 11:

    Strategies for self-enhancement, motivation and self- knowledge; Authenticity. Read:

    • Taylor, Shelley E., and Brown, Jonathon D. 1988. Illusion and well-being: A social psychological perspecive on mental health. Baumeister, pp. 43-66.
    • Steele, Claude. 1988. The psychology of self-affirmation: Sustaining the integrity of the self. pp 372-390 in Baumeister.
    • Swann, W.B., Griffin, J., Predmore, S., and Gaines, B. 1987. The cognitive-affective crossfire: When self-consistency confronts self-enhancement. Pp. 391-401 in Baumeister.
    • Sedikides, Constantine. 1993. Assessment, enhancement, and verification determinants of the self-evaluation process. pp. 402-426 in Baumeister.
    • Turner, Ralph. 1976. The real self: From institution to impulse Pp. 78-84 in Baumeister.
    • Gecas, Viktor. 1994. "In Search of the Real Self: Problems of Authenticity in Modern Times." Self, Collective Behavior and Society: Essays Honoring the Contributions of Ralph Turner, Eds. Gerald M. Platt and Chad Gordon. Greenwich: JAI Press.
    • Denzin, Norman K. 1994. "In Search of the Post-Modern Self: The Babbitt Brothers in Las Vegas." In same collection. Electronic Reserves

    November 18:

    Syntheses and new directions. Read:

    • Stryker, Sheldon. 1991. Exploring the relevance of social cognition for the relationship of self and society: Linking the cognitive perspective and identity theory. In Howard, J., & P. Callero, (Eds.) The self-society dynamic: Cognition, emotion, and action. Pp. 19-42.
    • Gecas, Viktor. 1991. The self-concept as a basis for a theory of motivation. In Howard, J., & P. Callero, The self-society dynamic: Cognition, emotion, and action. Pp. 171-188.
    • Ervin, Laurie H. and Stryker, Sheldon. 2001. Theorizing the relationship between self-esteem and identity. Pp. 29- 55 in Owen, T.J., Stryker, S., and Goodman, N. Extending self-esteem theory and research. Electronic Reserves

    • Tesser, Abe. 1988 . Toward a self-evaluation maintenance model of social behavior. Pp. 446-460 in Baumeister.

    Student presentations and readings:

    Bornstein: Resources for self construction in emerging gay and lesbian families. Reading: Hequembourg, Amy and Farrell, Michael P. 1999. Lesbian motherhood: Negotiating marginal-mainstream identities. Gender and Society, 13,540-555. Please read the introduction and literature review. Feel free to only scan the rest.

    Henderson: Cause-related marketing and the self. Reading (for theory): Cialdini et al. 1997. Alternative reading (about cause-related marketing): Cone 2003.

    Siegl: The relationship between self/identity and proenvironmental behavior. Reading:
    Stets&Biga, 2003.


    November 25:


    * * * HAPPY THANKSGIVING * * *


    December 2 :

    Student presentations and discussion


    Boxer. Birthright israel and identity. Reading: Saxe, L., Kadushin, C., Kelner, S., Rosen, M.I., and Yereslove, E. 2002. A mega-experiment in Jewish education: The impact of birthright israel. Waltham, MA: Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Brandeis University.

    Read only pages 27-54.

    Philip Brenner. Religious commitment, identity salience, and the measurement of religiosity. Reading: Wimberley, D.W. Religion and role-identity: a structural symbolic interactionist conceptualization of religiosity. The Sociological Quarterly v. 30 (Spring 1989) p. 125-42

    Emily Greenfield. Using MIDUS, I examine religious social identity as a mediator of the associations between formal religious participation and subjective well-being. Reading: George L.K., Ellison C.G., & Larson D.B. (2002). Explaining the relationships between religious involvement and health. Psychological Inquiry, 3, 190-220.

    Shane Sharp. Strict Religions and Identity

    Reading: Iannaccone, L. R. (1994). Why strict churches are strong.
    American Journal of Sociology, 99, 1180-1211.


    Olga Godes. The impact of one's motivational self-concept on achievement behavior in educational contexts. Reading: Spence, J.T., & Helmreich, R.L. (1983). Achievement-related motives and behaviors. In J.T. Spence (Ed.), Achievement and achievement motives: Psychological and sociological approaches. San Francisco: Freeman.

    Sara Moorman. Self and identity in late adulthood. Reading: Swann, W. B. Jr. (1987). Identity negotiation: Where two roads meet. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53(6), 1038-1051.

    Gail Stern. Gang Rape and Athletes: What we can infer from theories of self and identity. Reading: Sawyer, Robin G. Rape myth acceptance among intercollegiate student athletes: a preliminary examination.

    December 9 :

    Student presentations and discussion


    Sun-Young Lee – the interaction of negative emotion and self-efficacy and individuals’
    motivation to seek health information. Reading:
    Armitage, C.J., Conner, M., and Norman, P. (1999). Differential effects of mood on information processing: evidence from the theories of reasoned action and planned behavior. European Journal of Social
    , 29, 419-433

    Vera Tsenkova – Psychological influences on physical health and the self-system as a mediator. Reading: Ryff, C. D., Singer, B., & Love, G. (2004). Positive health: connecting well-being with biology. The Royal Society, 359, 1383-1394.


    Hyunseo Hwang – News discrepancy perception and News distrust: The Role of Self as Judgmental Anchor in Judgmental Process of News Credibility. Vallone, Ross, and Lepper.1985. The hostile media phenomenon:Biased perseption and perceptions of media bias in coverage of the Beirut massacre. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 49:577-585

    Jerralyn Moudry – The Parasocial Other: Implications of Vicarious Relationships with Television Characters on Self and Identity
    Formation. Reading: Haag, Laurie L. (Spring 1993). Oprah Winfrey: The Construction of
    Intimacy in the Talk Show Setting. Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 26
    Issue 4, p115-123.

    Ye Sun – The third-person effect (the self-other discrepancy in estimating media effect) and its psychological underpinnings. Reading: Perloff, R. M. (1993). Third-person effect research 1983-1992: A review and synthesis. International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 5(2), 167-184. (Hard copies will be distributed in class.)


    Cabell Gathman – self-presentation and other-perception of gender in online screennames. Reading: Sherry Turkle, "Cyberspace and Identity"

    Shazia Iftkhar – A comparison of theories of the self and identity across disciplines - social psychology, political sociology and cultural studies - with a focus on ethnicity. Readings:

    Janet Wolff. 1999. Cultural Studies and the Sociology of Culture (in Symposia; Sociology and Border Disciplines: Opportunities and Barriers to Intellectual Growth) Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 28, pp. 499-507. and

    Sharon Hays. 2000. Constructing the Centrality of Culture - and Deconstructing Sociology? (in Symposia; Charting Futures for Sociology: Culture and Meaning). Contemporary Sociology, Vol. 29, No. 4., pp. 594-602.





    Questions? Comments? Please contact jpiliavi@ssc.wisc.edu



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