Institutional Selves: Troubled Identities in a Postmodern World

Paperback | July 15, 2000

EditorJaber F. Gubrium, James A. Holstein

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Today, identities are created and selves are constructed in more organizational settings than ever before. Institutions large and small-from psychiatric hospitals, schools, and prisons to job clinics, counseling centers, and support groups-are virtually in the business of self construction.New institutions not only produce new forms of identity by presenting additional options for who and what we are but also place practical limits on the range of possible selves we can be.Institutional Selves acknowledges the socially practical self we live by. It brings together nine distinctive chapters that collectively address the institutional construction of troubled identities. From the victims and villains of television talk shows, to battered women in support groups, to theviolent selves of prison inmates, this book illustrates how selves are organizationally informed and structured in institutional practice. The institutional construction of selves is an especially interesting issue as social problems, their causes, and their victims are endlessly reinterpreted bythe various organizations devoted to helping resolve associated troubles. This book deals with fundamental and complex issues in a well-illustrated, multi-faceted manner. It provides common vocabulary that offers students a consistent language for discussing the construction of troubled identities.The style of the book is accessible and appropriate to a wide range of undergraduate students in sociology. The book neither "talks down" to the novice nor strains the patience of more experienced researchers. It can be used to lay the foundation for discussion of how the self is constructed intoday's world by linking the social psychology of the self to the organizational processing of deviance and social problems.

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Today, identities are created and selves are constructed in more organizational settings than ever before. Institutions large and small-from psychiatric hospitals, schools, and prisons to job clinics, counseling centers, and support groups-are virtually in the business of self construction.New institutions not only produce new forms of...

Jaber F. Gubrium is at University of Florida. James A. Holstein is at Marquette University.

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Format:PaperbackPublished:July 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195129288

ISBN - 13:9780195129281

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Table of Contents

PrefaceNotes on ContributorsIntroduction: Trying Times, Troubles SelvesPart I: Institutional IdentitiesKathleen S. Lowney and James A. Holstein: Victims, Villains, and Talk Show SelvesMelvin Pollner and Jill Stein: Doubled Over in Laughter: Humor and the Construction of Selves in Alcoholics AnonymousGale Miller: Changing the Subject: Self-Construction in Brief TherapyDarin Weinberg: Self-Empowerment in Two Therapeutic CommunitiesPart II: Constructing Institutional SelvesDonileen R. Loseke: Lived Realities and Formula Stories of "Battered Women"Joseph Hopper: Contested Selves in Divorce ProceedingsSusan E. Chase: Universities as Discursive Environments for Sexual Identity ConstructionJ. William (Jack) Spencer: Self-Presentation and Organizational Processing in a Human Service AgencyKathryn J. Fox: Self-Change and Resistance in PrisonAuthor IndexSubject Index