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Combining individuality and relatedness: Representations of the person among the Anglican clergy

By Vivian L Vignoles, Xenia Chryssochoou and Glynis M Breakwell


Representations of the person and their significance for identity and action were studied in an interpretative phenomenological analysis of interviews with 42 Anglican clergymen and clergywomen. Participants portrayed the person as having an individual relationship with God and being essentially both unique and related to others; the latter themes supported the coexistence among these participants of both individualistic and relational values, which might be portrayed as either opposing or complementary. The analysis supported theorizing concepts of the person as socially constructed themata with broad implications for identity, values and action, but did not reflect common assumptions in cross-cultural psychology: cultural orientations vary within as well as between nations, and individualism and collectivism are not necessarily opposites. We argue for a more finely grained approach to the study of culture and personhood

Year: 2004
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