How can you understand yourself? Where do your views, attitudes and values come from and why do they change? This accessible and illuminating book provides a reliable guide to these questions. The book: * Demonstrates that personal identity is formed around basic needs for security and self-esteem and the personal desires that flow from them * Shows the role of the emotions in personal life * Explores the limits of approaches that deny the existence of 'individuals' and 'personal experience' * Demonstrates how we build on everyday problems and dilemmas of life to shape our moods, attitudes and feelings. Shrewd and compelling, the book will be of interest to anyone studying Social Psychology and Sociology.
In the area of social theory I am interested in how agency and structure combine in social life. In relation to this I have developed the 'theory of social domains' which represents my own attempt to deal with the agency-structure problem. I have also developed a methodological approach called 'adaptive theory'. This attempts to harness the creative synergy between 'received' (or 'preconceived') and 'emergent' theory, but also depends on a close connection between the construction of explanatory theory and the collection of empirical data. My ongoing interests are in drawing out the links between the 'theory of social domains' and 'adaptive theory' in the context of empirical research. With these objectives in mind I have recently completed studies of self-identity, emotion, intimacy, and power and control in social life.