You are here

PLEASE NOTE: Sage Distribution including Books Customer Services will be closed for a stocktake from 29th November to 1st December. Any orders placed during this period will be dealt with as normal when service resumes on 4th December. Thank you for your patience and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Social Selves

Social Selves
Theories of Self and Society

Second Edition

February 2008 | 216 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
"The first edition of this book brought difficult questions about selfhood together with equally awkward issues of power and the 'social'. Not since Mead or Goffman, perhaps, had this been attempted in such a useful way, and in such an assured and accessible text... This completely reworked second edition retains all of these virtues, and takes the original analysis into new territory, not least with new chapters on gender and class... If you're interested in identity - particularly how identity 'works' - this book is essential reading".
- Richard Jenkins, Professor of Sociology, Sheffield University

"A foundational book, beautifully framed for this new century. The old theories of self and identity must be revisited in these times of global and cultural transformation. What kinds of selves are now available to us? Which theories best help us make sense out of who we are today. Burkitt brilliantly charts a path through this complex set of issues, and we owe him a huge debt for doing so".
- Norman K. Denzin, Distinguished Research Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

This new, completely revised version builds on the popular success of the first edition. It seeks to answer the basic social question of 'who am I?' by developing an understanding of self-identity as formed in social relations and social activity. Comprehensive, jargon-free and authoritative, it will be required reading on courses in self and society, identity and personality formation.
Society and the Self
Dialogue and the Social Self
Ethics, Self and Performativity
Power, Knowledge and the Self
Gender, Sexuality and Identity
Social Relations, Social Class and the Self
Self in Contemporary Society

Ian Burkitt's book has been included on my PhD student reading list because it is one of the few scholarly studies about self and social indentities. Notions of identity of self and society stretch back to ancient times with Plato's republic but the emphasis on self and society came to prominence with George Herbert Mead's seminal work in the 1930s when he connected the mind, self and society as an embodied conceptualisation of social being. There are many challenges facing scholars of indentity and significantly different disciplinary approaches in doing so, with their differences in emphasis on social or psychological conceptions of identity and the construction of identities of self together with the difficulties of bridging the self with social identities constructed by the self and others. In this very accessible text Burkitt manages to achieve a synthesis of social selves by examining complex issues of self and society and their interlationship using specific themes to do so. The themes offer different perspectives on the complexities involved in constructing identity through dialogue, performance, power, gender, sexuality, social class and as a member of contemporary society. This is an inspirational text for anyone with an interest in identity. As a marketing professor identity is clearly an important construct for conceptualising markets and relation in those markets between individuals and society and Burkitt's scholarly work offers many insightful explanations of these complexities.

Professor Tony Hines
Dept of Retail Management, Manchester Metropolitan University
October 19, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One PDF

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781412912723
ISBN: 9781412912716

SAGE Knowledge is the premier social sciences platform for SAGE and CQ Press book, reference and video content.

The platform allows researchers to cross-search and seamlessly access a wide breadth of must-have SAGE book and reference content from one source.