Semiotic scaffolding of the social self in reflexivity and friendship

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The individual and social formation of a human self, from its emergence in early childhood through adolescence to adult life, has been described within philosophy, psychology and sociology as a product of developmental and social processes mediating a linguistic and social world. Semiotic scaffolding is a multi-level phenomenon. Focusing upon levels of semiosis specific to humans, the formation of the personal self and the role of friendship and similar interpersonal relations in this process is explored through Aristotle’s classical idea of the friend as ‘another self’, and sociologist Margaret Archer’s empirical and theoretical work on the interplay between individual subjectivity, social structure and interpersonal relations in a dynamics of human agency. It is shown that although processes of reflexivity and friendship can indeed be seen as instances of semiotic scaffolding of the emerging self, such processes are heterogeneous and contingent upon different modes of reflexivity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1007/s12304-014-9221-0
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)275-289
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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