Once considered the province of New Age" groups, the self-esteem movement has been catapulted into the American mainstream, with a California task force and other groups now claiming that raising self-esteem is the panacea for social ills from alcoholism to poor grades and poverty.In this wide-ranging and strikingly original book, William Swann not only dissects the mistaken assumptions that underlie current self-esteem programs, but also incisively analyzes the nature of self-worth and the self-traps" that make achieving and sustaining a sense of self-esteem so difficult.Drawing on more than a decade of research, much of it his own, Swann reveals the surprising regularity with which people suffering from low self-esteem gravitate to relationships in which they are denigrated or abused. Swann shows how such people are caught in a crossfire of conflicting desires for praise and for confirmation of their negative self-views. He persuasively argues that our feelings of self-worth can only be understood as part of a larger, intricate dynamic involving society as well as the self.Not a self-help book, Resilient Identities offers a fascinating, controversial exploration of how self-esteem conflicts develop and are played out in all of our relationships. And it discusses what we can do to encourage and sustain feelings of self-worth in our society.
William B. Swann Jr. received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and is currently professor of Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the recipient of multiple Research Scientist Development Awards from the National Institutes of Mental Health and has authored numerous articles on self-esteem, depression, and relationships.