Book Relational Being by Kenneth J Gergen
ngth and weaknesses in the quality of Gergen’s writing will be critiqued based on the reader’s own judgement on how the author has presented his arguments in his book. Gergen’s contribution in the field of psychology and social sciences will be tackled in details. Based on the limitations of Gergen’s ideas, a list of recommendations for future research will be provided prior to conclusion.
Gergen was able to clearly present his thoughts in a logical manner. In order to give the readers a better understanding on what relational being is all about, Gergen decided to make use of four major sections in his writings. Basically, the first section discussed the differences between bounded beings and relational beings. As explained by Gergen (2009, p. 5), bounded self seggregates “self” from social relationships whereas relational being “recognize a world that is not within persons but within their relationships”. By carefully explaining the differences between these two concepts of “self”, Gergen was able to make his reader fully understand that a relational being is different from the traditional concept of “self” in the sense that the boundaries that used to separate “self” from his social relationship with other people has to be removed.
For example, as a result of experiencing life’s pleasure and pain, Gergen (2009, p. 96) explained how the human body (i.e. experiencing emotional ups and downs) could affect our ability to develop relationship with other people. As a common knowledge, social rejections can result to the development of emotional pain. By being a relational being, it is possible that “self” can successfully establish a strong and positive social relationship which is the key towards improving one’s own self-esteem.
Given that the process of being able to establish a strong and positive social relationship is one of the best solutions to improve self-esteem, Gergen (2009, p. 17) questioned that “if the fundamental