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Self Conception Can Influence The Way We Communicate Philosophy Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Philosophy
Wordcount: 1432 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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According to William W. Purkey, a Professor of Counselor Education University of North Carolina, self-concept is the totality of a complex, organized, and dynamic system of learned beliefs, attitudes and opinions that each person holds to be true about his or her personal existence (cite according to Harvard referencing style – refer to the copy in elearning). Basically, self-concept is the knowledge of people about themselves. People will tend to do things that portray their image. Such as a football player will put his or her favorite hobby as playing basketball, wearing football shirt, having football wallpaper in their laptop, and much more. They will also tend to group up will people that have similar interest, particularly to strengthen his or her self-concept. Self-concept is very crucial to every human being as it is formed by both internal and external factor, and it influences how that person communicate with other people. (is this your thesis statement? when you mentioned internal and external factors, it is not clear. State which factors you are going to discuss specifically in your thesis statement, to answer the assignment question.)

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Internal factor includes how a person feels about him or herself. It can be influenced by his unique trait, talent, physical appearance, social status, gender, and much more. Aside from internal factor, external factor can also shape one’s self-concept and is much more interesting. External factor can vary from other people, significant other, love, friends, and environment. It is interesting because there is coincidence involved (what do you mean?- how these factors are coincidence and how it affect one’s self concept?). When someone is born in a not so good family and bad environment, he or she will be most likely different from someone who is born in a luxurious family and elite environment (maybe you can relate to relevant concept in chapter 2). However, that is only for early times, whether he or she will change his or her self-concept, depends on the people he or she will meet.

“You see, really and truly, apart from the things anyone can pick up (the dressing and the proper way of speaking, and so on), the difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she’s treated. I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will” (Pygmalion, Bernard Shaw, p. 80) ‎. From the quote above, it is clearly shown that one’s self-concept is shaped by others, especially by significant others. People can have different self-concept depending on who he or she is communicating with. They can change based on what impression they want to give to others. When a boy communicate with his parents, he forms his identity as a son as his self-concept, and acts accordingly. But with other people, for example his group of friend, he may form his self-concept differently.

Based on social comparison theory by Festinger, self-concept is often shaped by comparisons between ourselves and others. People will need to refer to other people in order to be able to see that they are different, thus distinguishing oneself from the others. They can see their unique features compared to other people, and formed their own self-concept. People’s self-concept, although sometimes is very hard or will require a certain condition, can subject to change. For example is Albert Brennaman from the movie “Hitch”. He is deeply in love with Allegra but he has no confidence to hit on her. His self concept is most likely clumsy, unable to talk to his dream woman, and good at dancing (so is his self concept good at the beginning? Please explain clearly). However, once he hired Hitch, his self concept is beginning to change. Hitch encourages him to be more confident by saying that he is not most people, he has something that other man does not have, he is a great man, and much more. By Hitch encouragement, Albert start to do things that is outside of his self-concept, which in response causes him to be panic most of the time. Hitch job here however, is to make Allegra notice Albert. He always tries to make Albert have a good impression in front of Allegra to the point where he trains him. Eventually, Albert starts to change his self-concept little by little (explain how- vague statement). Changing someone’s self-concept is not easy and sometimes need a special occasion especially on an adult such as Albert. In Albert case, the special occasion is his dream woman. His love for Allegra makes it possible to change his self-concept. Judging from the movie, self-concept can be shaped or changed by external factor, such as significant people or environment and that most adult will be able to change their self-concept when cornered, either psychologically or financially (try to relate to relevant concept from chapter 2 in your textbook or other sources, instead of writing your opinion only. It has to be supported by citation. It is a good point though). And they will try to change themselves to lead a future that they desire.

Not only self-concept determines people’s behavior, it will also influence the way people communicate with each other. People will communicate to show and strengthen their self-concept. When they communicate with each other, they may be able to know other person better and be able to do more detail comparison, thus strengthen their self-concept. Each people will communicate reflective to their self-concept. Their self-concept, whether they are male or female, handsome or ugly, smart or stupid, optimistic or pessimistic, and other factors related to their self-concept (state specifically what factors), will directly influence their way of communication with other people (provide examples from the movie to support this point).

The example from the movie “Hitch” now is main character himself, Hitch. As shown at the beginning of the movie, Hitch was a clumsy man that does not know how to talk to girls. After he was betrayed by his girlfriend Cressida Baylor, he became stronger and later on, changes his self concept (good point, but try to explain further how this change his self concept, to become better or worse??). The current Hitch is a man who is charming, good at talking, optimist and easy-going. This change of self-concept not only influences his way of communicating, but his appearance as well. Later on, when Hitch is revealed as Date Doctor by the media, and has a fight with his current girlfriend Sara Melas, he become more pessimistic. The same happens to Albert, who is being completely ignored by his girlfriend Allegra. He becomes unable to think clearly, depressed and more aggressive. Eventually, when it clears up, Hitch goes to see Sara in her apartment. There, Hitch is unable to talk as he normally does, he become nervous and does not know what is wrong about him.

Self-concept is very crucial to every human being as it is formed by both internal and external factor, and it influences how that person communicate with other people. Every person has his or her own self-concept. But whether the self-concept will change or not, it is ultimately depends on people they meet regardless of significance. If for instance Albert does not meet Hitch, he will be most likely stay as he is and may not change. The same goes for Hitch, if he does not meet Cressida, he may not be able to change to a talkative, charming, and easy-going person. Self-concept also influences how a person communicates with other person. Each person will communicate based on their self-concept. Their way of thinking, abilities, talent, interest, gender, appearance, and other factor which is included in self-concept, will affect their way of communicating with other people. Communication with other people will further develop one’s self concept.

Overall, you have good points but try to organize them and link the concepts in chapter 2 with relevant examples and explanations.

Your key points should be supported by examples from the movie and detailed explaination.

Try to avoid writing too many general statements or statements that do not help to explain your key points. Please be specific when you are explaining the concepts and the examples.

Please remember to cite accordingly. Your essay should include references.


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