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THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF AUTONOMY: A MOTIVATIONAL MODEL

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Abstract:

This paper argues for a pluralistic, experientially constructed self-concept of autonomy that is embodied in self-feelings and is motivationally defined. Such a motivational model of autonomy is proposed in place of the commonly accepted personality-based model, grounded in the analytic tradition in psychology. Using the self-concept approach of the interpretative school as a springboard, the paper reconceptualizes autonomy as constructed within specific social conditions. On the basis of female experience, autonomy is conceived of as a self-authoring experience emanating from the struggle to meet one's needs and achieve one's significant goals. The notions of struggle and significant goals are suggested as key concepts viable for a motivational theory of autonomy.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1994.22.3.209

Publication date: January 1, 1994

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