Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Self, the Person, and the Individual

During this week, we discussed about The Self, the Person, and the Individual. This discussion really amazed me a lot and furthered my thought about myself and how others think about themselves and the roles that we change or play in society.

We discussed about the different multiple selves that everyone has. According to information discussed in class, one of our multiple "selves" is "The Self", which is defined as the process of knowing and the one who is known. The use of Self, in Social Work is a very needed skill in applying it to others. Another related concept is "the Person". It is defined as the mask – Hiding the true you. We do not say “be true to your person” but instead “be true to yourself”. "Identity" is another concept of our multiple self. It signifies a close likeness to oneself. The last concept is the "Individual".

When talking about the Self, the Person, and the Individual, it makes me think about how everyone has more than one mask. One is your true self, the other in front of others, friends, co-workers, family, etc. When talking about being your true self, I believe that in each category that you put yourself into; you put a piece of yourself into those categories. Every day and every hour we put on masks in front of others. I feel that having multiple masks is a good thing to have in our society. We can be the silly person in front of friends and the serious at work. I remember during class discussion, Professor Rodenborg said that clients come in with different backgrounds and we need to understand where they are coming from. They may have different ways in trying to help solve the problems. We need to understand from their culture’s points of views that sometimes our way of our culture differs from theirs. It is like we have to put our mask into what they are seeing.

“In contrast, most cultures do not share our concepts. We may in fact be quite strange...” (Powerpoint)

Pang Khang


  1. I also find the different ways in which we identify ourselves and our relations to others very interesting. I think culture does have a large part to play in how we view ourselves alone and with society. Many other cultures have a fuller understanding of interdependency and minimize their "self". I find this fascinating but hard to fully conceptualize without being raised in such a society.

    -Ashley Watson

  2. I agree with what you are saying Pang, but however I also think that having our masks might also be drawbacks when working with clients. If we have all these different masks when we are trying to make connections with our client, I think that it might be hard to put our own masks down to see their masks. Even though our mask might let us “Be the silly person in front of friends and the serious at work,” I think it is important to also consider that sometimes mask might not always be positive things.

    -Amy Kallevig