The real self revisited: From impulse to institution
journal contributionposted on 01.12.2021, 07:16 by Ramon Menendez DomingoRamon Menendez Domingo
A preoccupation with a search for the authentic self has become widespread for individuals living in contemporary Western societies since the 1970s. Because academic consensus had been reached regarding the university student population anchoring their experiences of authenticity in a personal ( impulsive or subconsensual) sense of identity in the last 35 years, the sociological-empirical study of the real self among students has been abandoned as a discipline for about the last 20 years. This article shows that this should not be the case any longer. I found that students’ meanings of authenticity are predominantly constructed within their social ( institutional or consensual) roles. I present data from a survey conducted with 138 respondents from a university in Victoria, Australia, in 2013, and compare it with sociologist Ralph Turner's ground-breaking research on the same topic. I explain these findings through generational and cultural change reasons related to millennials’ Web 2.0 technology use.