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Why Change is Hard - The Power of Master Narratives over Self and Society

  • Innbundet

  • 2024

  • Engelsk

The possibilities of personal growth and change are embedded in American cultural values that center individual autonomy and personal responsibility for charting one''s life course. These values infuse the scientific study of identity development, where scholarship has contributed to the idea that we are the sole authors of our own stories. However, the data to support such claims are sparse. In Why Change is Hard, Kate C. McLean argues that the promise of the possibility for growth and change, and the personal capacity to do so, are represented in problematic master narratives--present in broader society, as well as in the scientific community. Such narratives about personal growth and responsibility serve to limit attention to the systems and structures of society that restrict and deny the expression of individual identities, resulting in the maintenance of an inequitable status quo. The argument is made through the prism of the science on personality development, and narrative identity development in particular. This book calls into question the degree to which the theories and methods employed, as well as the data, support the elevation of such master narratives about the possibility for growth, challenging scholars to develop an awareness of their complicity in the maintenance of harmful ideologies.

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