This work offers a novel and challenging interpretation of the nature of the self. In opposition to currently fashionable theories, Wiley argues that the self is an integral and autonomous entity. The self is interpreted as a semiotic structure and on this basis the author presents an original analysis of the origins of self--identity. The book draws particularly upon two philosophical sources: the writings of Charles Sanders Peirce and George Herbert Mead. The result is a "trialogical" model in which the present self ("I") talks to the future self ("you") about the past self ("me"). A distinctive feature of Wileya s view is that there is a mutually--supportive relation between the self and democracy, a view which he traces through American history. Providing as it does a means of interpreting the politics of identity in relation to such issues as class, gender, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation, this book will stimulate wide interest.
Norbert Wiley is Associate Professor od Socilogy at the University of Illinois at Urbana--Champaign.
List of Figures and Tables. Preface. Authora s Note. 1. The Politics of Identity in American History. 2. Peirce and Mead on the Semiotic Self. 3. The Internal Conversation. 4. Reflexivity. 5. Solidarity. 6. The Self as a Level. 7. Upward Reduction. 8. Downward Reduction. 9. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index.