The Psychological Citizen and the Two Concepts of Social Contract: A Preliminary Analysis

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Abstract

A shift in focus from the logical to the psychological social contract allows us to better explore the socialization of the psychological citizen, and the relationship between identity of individuals and the socio-political order, with its particular group-based inequalities. Traditional psychological studies have provided valuable insights into certain aspects of identity, but the new narrative research is leading to novel insights into longer term processes associated with the positioning of identity. The new approach recognizes the dual nature of mental processes and the integral role of context in individual development. Illustrative examples are discussed of the role of cultural carriers in the formation of identity, highlighting the infusion of the macrolevel normative system to thought and action at the microlevel of individuals.

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