Marianne Fogh Møller, Sarah Mindegaard Lund, Nanna-Freja Adriane Riis Larsen, Sidsel Simone Rønne, Michael Scheffmann-Petersen & Andreas Stenbæk-Larsen

Student thesis: Termpaper


Abstract Based on different understandings regarding the conceptualization of a ‘self’, one needs to ask in what way self-realization is understood and which opportunities and limitations self-realization provides in a contemporary Western society. These are the founding questions we address in our project. An area of concentration in current popular-psychology focuses on individual goals and attainment of individual successes achieved through self-realization (Sofia Manning). We have studied this romanticized individualistic approach to self-realization and have come to the conclusion that it is possible, in more than one sense, to draw parallels to Humanistic psychology, as theorized by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. The ideology of Humanistic psychology in accordance with the thought of self-realization is based on the concept of acceptance of an inner core and the attainment of autonomy through self-realization. Through this parallel between coaching and Humanistic psychology, we find it interesting to place the idea of inner self-realization in a contemporary context that focuses on the relationship between the individual and society, influenced on one side by the theory of George Herbert Mead concerning the individual in interaction, and on the other side by Kenneth J. Gergen regarding the relational self. Based on this compilation of theories, we see a core and individual orientated theory carried out in practice in a society where the mere thought of neglecting the interaction and relation between the individual and society would stand out as unrealistic. Furthermore, to point out the opportunities and limitations caused by self-realization, we wish to accentuate the role of society in the process of self-realization. We focus on how the society can claim self-realization separate from the individuals as well as evaluate the premises on which self-realization is based (Axel Honneth). On the basis of the abovementioned, we then look at the result and consequences of such a claim (Anders Petersen). Next, we look at the impact of post-traditional society and the escalating risks associated with an increase in options on the self-identity of the individual (Anthony Giddens).

EducationsPsychology, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Undergraduate or graduate
Publication date23 Jan 2008
SupervisorsLars Dencik


  • Selvrealisering