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A Sense of Self: The Work of Affirmation
A Sense of Self: The Work of Affirmation Thomas J. Cottle 1558493670 9781558493674 A clinical psychologist as well as a sociologist, Thomas J. Cottle is the author of more than twenty-five books. At the heart of his work is a concern with the problem
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A Sense of Self: The Work of Affirmation by Thomas J. Cottle

A clinical psychologist as well as a sociologist, Thomas J. Cottle is the author of more than twenty-five books. At the heart of his work is a concern with the problems confronted by ordinary people in their everyday lives, the kinds of issues that shape who we are and how we interact with the world around us. In this book, his focus is on affirmation, that mysterious process by which the self comes to know itself in relation to others and forges an identity. What is it that we experience when we are affirmed, Cottle asks, and what are the ramifications of affirmation, or the lack of it, in how we lead our lives?<P>In pursuing his investigation, Cottle draws on a remarkably broad range of social scientific and philosophical literature, from Piaget and Kohut to Nietzsche and Levinas. Looking closely at the relationship between the individual, the family, and society, he explores issues of intimacy, morality, ethics, aesthetics, and socialization. He pays particular attention to the role of devotion, showing how the act of taking responsibility for another is the essence of affirmation, which in turn is the fundamental ingredient in the development of a self. Without those who take responsibility for us and commit themselves to us forever, he argues, there can be no secure sense of self and no genuine capacity for self-reflection and self-knowledge.<P>Cottle concludes by emphasizing how much is at stake in the work of affirmation. Just as the affirming gaze of another nurtures and strengthens ones sense of self, the absence of affirmation -- what we might call disaffirmation -- can lead to a life of despair, alienation, and even violence.

Author: Thomas J. Cottle

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 224

Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press

Publication Date: 2003-04-18

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ISBN: 1558493670


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