Self-esteem and meaning: a life-historical investigation by Michael R. Jackson

By Michael R. Jackson

Booklet by means of Jackson, Michael R.

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I strive for that in our working situation. This idea is not new to Esther. During her youth she was passionately interested in politics and labor relations. She read widely and was influenced by a number of social theorists, including Henry George, Thorstein Veblin, and George Bernard Shaw. During the interviews, we discussed Esther's political interests and she articulated what she called a "social philosophy" based on community responsibility and respect for people in all social situations. Esther also talked about her attempts to apply this philosophy in her past and present work situations.

This meaning is defined by the entire story Jim tells, and by the unique and specific pattern in which the elements of this story are interwovenfor example, in the fact that Jim challenges authority by using his skills, in the fact that his peers disbelieve him because he is challenging authority, and in the fact that his challenge is validated in spite of their disbelief and by virtue of his skills. None of these elements could be removed without altering the story and the meaning of Jim's self-esteem.

In contrast, Faucheux and Moscovici (1968) and Graf and Hearne (1970) find low self-esteem persons to be more competitive, and Martire (1956) finds a negative relationship between self-esteem and achievement motivation. A strikingly discrepant set of findings is a pair of studies using direct measures of "adjustment"; Block and Thomas (1955) find a curvilinear relation between self-esteem and adjustment, with medium self-esteem representing the best adjustment; Chodorkoff (1954b) also finds a curvilinear relationship but reports that the middle position is the most maladjusted (Wells and Marwell, 1976, pp.

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