Self-Esteem and Meaning

A Life Historical Investigation

By Michael R. Jackson

Subjects: Psychology
Paperback : 9780873958530, 228 pages, June 1985
Hardcover : 9780873958523, 228 pages, June 1985

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents


One     Self-Esteem and the Problem of Meaning

Two    The Dimensions of Self-Esteem

Three  The Central Conflict: Defense and Resolution

Four   The Limits of Self-Esteem

Five    Self and Other

Appendix:   The Question of Validity




Self-esteem. Not only does it affect our identity and values, but also our feelings and actions in a variety of circumstances. Yet, after years of investigation, little of practical value has been learned about its nature.

Self-Esteem and Meaning brings a new approach to the study of self-esteem. It presents case studies based on extended interviews with middle- and working-class individuals. Weaving together the subjects' frank and often poignant accounts of their own lives are the author's observations on the linguistic and semiotic principles that reveal the coherence and meaningfulness of these accounts.

The book also contributes to the methodological effort to develop a humanistic yet rigorous social science. Those interested in the structure of meaning and the nature of self will find it of value. In addition, the book provides an enlightening discussion of the interview method.

Michael R. Jackson is Staff Psychologist at the Wyandotte General Hospital, Wyandotte, Michigan. He holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan.