The Transformative Self: Personal Growth, Narrative Identity, and the Good Life

ISBN : 9780199970742

Jack J. Bauer
720 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Jul 2021
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The Transformative Self explores three of life's perennial questions: How do we make sense of our lives? What is a good life? How do we create one? In this comprehensive volume, developmental psychologist Jack J. Bauer responds to those three questions by integrating three main areas of study-narrative identity, the good life, and personal growth-to present an innovative model of humane flourishing and human development. The Transformative Self synthesizes an extensive range of scholarship, from scientific research in psychology to work in philosophy, literature, history, cultural studies, and more. The result is a cohesive framework for understanding how personal and cultural stories shape our development and how, through those stories, we might cultivate the growth of happiness, love, and wisdom for the self and others.


Section I: The Transformative Self as a Good Life Story
1. Introducing the Transformative Self
2. The Cultural Master Narrative of Personal Growth
3. Growth and the Good Life
4. Growth and a Good Life Story
5. Growthy Tones in Personal Narratives
6. Growth Themes in Personal Narratives
7. Growth Structure in Personal Narratives
Section II: The Person Who Has a Transformative Self
8. Transformative Traits, Motives, and Experiences
9. Transformative Self-Regulation and the Quiet Ego
10. Growth in the Hard and Soft Margins of Society
Section III: The Development of the Transformative Self
11. Nature, Nurture, and 'Ndividuality: Why Personal Growth Is Possible
12. The Transforming, Transformative Self: Identity Development
13. The Aging, Transformative Self: Growth Is Not Just for the Young
14. Stages of Transformative Self-Authorship
Section IV: Shadows and Illumination
15. The Dark Side of the Transformative Self
16. Authenticity, Self-Actualizing, and Self-Authorship
17. The Self Beyond the Story
End Notes

About the author: 

Jack J. Bauer, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and past Raymond A. Roesch, S.M., Endowed Chair in the Social Sciences at the University of Dayton. His research on the topics of this book has appeared in leading journals in the fields of personality and developmental psychology. He is co-editor of the book Transcending Self-Interest: Psychological Explorations of the Quiet Ego. He has been co-editor of the Journal of Happiness Studies, associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and editor of a local newspaper in northern Michigan.

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