Autonomy and relatedness in cultural context implications for self and family

  • Kagitcibasi C
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Abstract

Autonomy and agency are used extensively and often interchangeably; there is a debate regarding their intersections with relatedness and separateness. This scholarship occurs within mainly a Euro-American cultural context that provides an ideological background of individualism, shedding light on psychological thinking. The article attempts to provide a broad overview of the issues involved. Two distinct dimensions, agency and interpersonal distance, are seen to underlie the self constructs involving autonomy and relatedness that are developed in different spheres of psychological inquiry. Autonomy and relatedness are viewed as basic human needs, and though apparently conflicting, are proposed to be compatible. Problems of conceptualization and operationalization are noted that have prevented the recognition of this compatibility. A model is put forward that involves a fourfold combination of the two dimensions, leading to different types of self and the societal and familial contexts in which they develop. Recent research provides credibility to the model proposed.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Adolescent development
  • Autonomous-related self
  • Autonomy
  • Family
  • Model of psychological interdependence
  • Relatedness

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Authors

  • Cigdem Kagitcibasi

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