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Self-Making and World-Making Author(s): Jerome Bruner Source: Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 25, No.

1, Special Issue: More Ways of Worldmaking (Spring, 1991), pp. 67-78 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3333092 . Accessed: 13/03/2011 12:09
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and then interviewed his sister whom he had "recommended" us. using very Goodmanianlanguage. and then she said. No. Vol.I have what in modern jargon is called a database. reflections. nonetheless. that my reflectionsare not all hypothetical." In autobiography. and place in the world. And it is to some of these difficulties that I want to address my attention. ActualMinds. An odd thing happened. we would like very much to find out." and before long we had interviewed all the members of the same family: two grown daughters and sons. autobiographiesfrom ordinary people. Spring1991 of ?1991 Boardof Trusteesof the Universityof Illinois .We interviewed a to man. by the way. Now.Possible and Worlds. in its broader form.if there is such a thing. I should say. non-artful. 25. "You know my other brother would like to be interviewed too.in gatheringspontaneous. what they do when they set forth an "autobiography. I and propose to set forthsome conjectures hypotheses that need particularly to be elucidatedby a strongphilosophicalmind. 1. The philosopherwho has helped me most whenever I found myself trapped in the Wittgensteinianbottle is Nelson Goodman. the father and the mother. We solicited volunteers and simply asked them: "Tellus the story of your life." We assured them first that we were not cliniciansbut that. We have been involved. just what the referentis in such discourseis an extremelydifficultmatterto specify. In Search of Mind: Autobiographical Essays.Self-Makingand World-Making JEROME BRUNER I want to speak with the voice of one who takes seriously Wittgenstein's statementthat the function of the philosopher is to help the fly out of the bottle.thoughts. a group of us in New York. Journal Aesthetic Education. how they constructeda pictureof their lives. Perhapsfor the first time in human history-at least I could find no report in the literatureof anything comparable-we had interviewed separately Bruner ResearchProfessorof Psychology at New YorkUniversityand curis Jerome rently MeyerVisitingProfessorof Law at the New YorkUniversityLaw School. I am the fly.we set forth a view of what we call our Self and its doings.His most recentworks areActs of Meaning. They all have to do with a subjectthat is deceptively simple: how people give account of themselves or.

Rather." in Goodman's terms. in the sense that family life is such a heated process ordinarily. as it were. a family is." Not so terribly long ago. The great volumes by Georg Misch that appeared prior to the first World War had other concerns. then. There were. "psychic realities" that somehow impinged upon each other. once one launches on a genre account of oneself. in the first place. There must. and asked him what a family is. very maleoriented)? How did he deal with the fact that there were inventions in autobiographical form that were themselves as important as any events in forming the kinds of autobiographies that then followed them? Thomas a Kempis was one such innovator. he must be profoundly so. from an anthropological or ethnological point of view. can only be astonished by what one reads in Misch's volumes. But let me first go back to the beginning and discuss more freely the curious process by which people construct what we call "a self" and "a life. of course. A contemporary. I was having lunch with an old friend. Professor Geertz replied. all of whom had. if I may be forgiven the expression. certainly at the turn of the century." I found this a "cool" and useful way of looking at the mattercool. how was he able to judge what was representative of any era? And why was he so little interested in the epistemological issues involved-both for himself and for the "exemplary and representative" men (he is. touched by the doubts of postmodernism. the anthropologist Clifford Geertz. autobiographers aware of the "constructivist problem"-from Augustine to Henry Adams-but most of the writers on autobiography up to the end of the nineteenth century conceived of autobiographical writing as writing about an "essential self. be some deep sense in which Henry James was right when he said that adventures happen to people who know how to tell about them. they were patterned into something that I can only call genres-fairly easily recognizable literary genres. He was interested in "lives" in so far as they represented exemplary and representative expressions of the culture. the process of self-creation did not seem to bother students of autobiography very much. concretely. were not. But it was not just autobiographers who set the new forms. but philosophers and novelists as well-like Rousseau or Flaubert. a system designed for keeping centrifugal forces from working within a group of people who have to stay together. It was the material of un romanfamilial.68 Bruner Jerome six members of the same family. ex nihilo. To what degree is one impelled. "Well. At one point in the proceedings. If he is correct. To begin with. as "an aboriginal life" that was inde- . But the negotiations in question. to be sure. it soon appeared. It was then that I began to realize. to what degree the construction of selves and of the "lives" of people within a family (or any other close group) consists of just such an anticentrifugal negotiation of roles. to stay with it forevermore? We shall return to that issue presently." and as writing about a "life.

Here is how he started: "My parents ran a small hotel on the edge of a small Midlands town. What after all is an autobiography? It consists of the following. a Bildungsroman. in order to bring a protagonist from the there and then to the point where the original protagonist becomes the present narrator. with the depiction of reality. A narrator.Self-Making 69 pendent of the process of constructing it. raised me by my heels. He must by convention bring that protagonist from the past into the present in such a way that the protagonist and the narrator eventually fuse and become one person with a shared consciousness. finding that I was having difficulty breathing. Rather like the story of my life: people breaking my bones in the interest of helping me. like William Spengemann or Janet Varner Gunn. If you read contemporary writers on autobiography. The obstetrician. a teacher of English. He himself was a published writer. When I was born. started right off with a metaphoric event that shaped the entire interview. All that was necessary was to capture it. And so we began asking what role a genre or a metaphoric theme serves in a life account. Augustine now . they called the obstetrician. or the text making. slapped me on the back. You see. and broke two ribs. and had been born in England. you will find them thoroughgoing constructionists. put it down." He never returned to that episode again or even repeated those terms. Take the following instance. But it is not only genre that has this forming function. It was a point of view not far from the conviction that lead well-meaning aunts to assure writers starting an autobiography that "it should not be hard. the tide has turned completely. premissed on the accretion of wisdom from experience. in a Midlands town where he spent his childhood and adolescence. I had osteoporosis. one gradually transforms the primary qualities of direct experience into the secondary qualities of higher knowledge. Is an autobiography. as a British empiricist might put it? As if. Their concerns are with literaryhistorical invention. they are concerned with the literary forces that shape autobiography. Like me. but certain organizing metaphors as well. Yet. write it. you've led such an interesting life. with form. One of the participants in our study. You need a prescription that will allow the callow pear-stealing boy to turn into the thoughtful St. takes upon himself or herself the task of describing the progress of a protagonist in the there and then. so to speak. each of the turning points in his life (I shall return to turning points later) contained a variant of that same metaphoric theme: harm coming to him by dint of another's good intentions. in the here and now. Let me dwell on that problem for a moment. when asked about his life. Now. in the text. one who happens to share his name. one needs a theory of growth or at least of transformation." Today. say. We have come to reject the view that a "life" is anything in itself and to believe that it is all in the constructing.

such "checking"is guided not by ordinary verificationbut by a criterionof verisimilitude. to check them against what elsewhere I have called "culturallycanonical accounts"of what growing up and what childhood are about. If initially the child was fatherto the man. We have never found a single one where past-tense verbs constituted more than 70 percent of the verbs used. and so on. So just for fun. it is not amiss to say that the old adage is turned around.And this imposes constraintsthat have as much to do with the to requirementsof narrativeas they have to do with what "happened" one. in the nature of things. is notoriously fallible and open to schematization. aboutthe "stages"along the path of that growth are not verifiablein the usual sense that that term is used. In storiesof this kind. indeed."But it must also fit the requirementsof narrativeas a form of organizingexperience."1Or. about the past. indeed. and they should focus on how these intentional states led to certain kinds of activities.The interpretation its latermetaphoricuse is a narrative invention that provides continuityboth with the receivedfacts and with the of autobiographer's conception(or invention) his "life. The best one can do is to check them against one's own memory-which.Whatcan we say aboutthese requirements narrative? of Narrativeaccounts must have at least two characteristics. Now. They should centerupon people and their intentionalstates:their desires. to be sure. "the story of my life"-and I'll come to "story"in a moment-is not composed of a set of testablepropositionsin the usual sense. should be aboutthe past.The boy. or what one remembersas having happened. we decided to find out whetherin fact autobiographies wereall in the past tense-both the spontaneous ones we had collected and a sample of literary autobiographies. should be parexcellence genre the autobiographies (or set of genres)composed in the past tense.2Strictly speaking. Autobiographiesare. The theories or stories one constructsaboutone's growth and. of course. That is to say.lifelikeness. if these points are correct.beliefs.in the sense of preservingor appearingto preserve sequencethe sequentialpropertiesof which life itself consists or is supposed to consist. Such an account should also be or appear to be order preserving.70 Bruner Jerome caught in a strugglebetween faith and reason.as Sir Frederic Bartlettlong ago reminded us-or to check them against "familyrecollections.becomes an instrumentin the telling. but is composed as a narrative. now (in autobiography) man reclaimsthe role of being father the to the child-but this time recapturing child for the cultureby the use of the the culture'stheoriesand stories. There is an interesting anomaly here. Recallthe obstetricianwho broke those two ribs. His life becomes dedicated to the theory or story into which his destiny is fitted. of course.but what of the 30 percentor more of their sentencesthat are . The "facts" (though culturally transmitted) are and probablyright.

is Whatmakes for something "interesting" invariably a "theory"or "story"that runs counter to expectancy or pro- . whether looked at from the more formalisticperspective of William Labov or the more literary. we wish to or present ourselves to others (and to ourselves) as typical or characteristic in "cultureconfirming" some way. in the light of some folk in psychology.historicalone of Barbara Herrnstein-Smith." use Nelson Goodman'sterm. it must deal with the present as well as the past-and not just at the end of the account. In the main. Thatis one partof it.Self-Making 71 notin the past tense? I'm sure it will be apparentwithout all these statistics that autobiography not onlyaboutthe past. incidentally. Now.therefore.it must also containsomethingthat endows it with exceptionality.and it is not always clearwhy what one tells meritstelling. necessarilycomprises two features: one of them is telling what happened to a cast of human beings with a view to the order in which things happened. shaved. But if it is all "givens.Not only must a narrativebe about a sequence of events over time. We are bored and offendedby such accountsas "Igot up in the morning. Butthereis anotherpartthat is more interesting. We are simply mirrorsof our culture.To assureindividuality (and I am speakingof Western culture only).why it creates such a spate of present-tenseclausesin the writing of autobiography. sorrowfor what is canonicallysad. it is an act of to "entrenchment. our intentionalstates and actions are comprehensiblein the light of the "folk psychology" that is intrinsic in our culture. Thatis to say. Thatis to say. the only requirementimposed by having to tell a life story (even when only invited to do so by a psychologist)is that one tell something "interesting"-which is to say a story that is at once recognizablycanonical and recognizablynoncanonical.is exceptional(and.""Whyis this worth telling. An autobiographyserves a dual function.. had breakfast." The "why tell" function imposes something of great (and hidden) significance on narrative.3That part is greatlyaided by the devices of flashback.went off to the office and saw a graduate student who had an idea for a thesis. we laugh at what is canonicallyfunny.but is busily aboutthe present is as well.as it were. This is the set of "givens"in a life. dressed and tied my shoes. got out of bed." then there is no individuality.worthy of "telling") our lives..and the rest. But a narrativemust also answer the question "Why.. had better pause for a moment and explore what this criterionof exceptionality means for autobiographyand. we focus upon what. no modern Self. Narrative. what is interesting about it?" Not everything that happened is worth telling about.On the one hand.flashforward. If it is to bring the protagonistup to the present. Most of the "present-tense" aspect of autobiographyhas to do with what students of narrativestructurecall "evaluation"-the task of placing those sequential events in terms of a meaningful context. structuredcomprehensiblyin terms of cultural canonWe icality.

Freud. These comprise an Actor who commits an Action toward a Goal with the use of some Instrument in a particular Scene. when elements of the Pentad are out of balance. invitations to experience fresh ways of violating the banalities of folk psychology. So just as folk psychology embodies and entrenches the canonical ways of people responding to the world. he argues. are "copies" of what happens in life. then. and I think it would help to examine his ideas. The object of narrative. an emergent sixth element. Narrative solves no problems. It simply locates them in such a way as to make them comprehensible.72 Bruner Jerome duces an outcome counter to expectancy. and we honor the Laurence Sternes and Natalia Ginzburgs. then. the Virginia Woolfs and Anais Nins as much for their "human insights" as for their literary skills. It does so by invoking the play of psychological states and of actions that transpire when human beings interact with each other and relates these to what can usually be expected to happen. In his The Grammar of Motives. literary inventions are inspirations to new modes of life. like the cuckolded husband. and more recently Laing and Lacan. For example. It is the case. Nora. with each new entrenchment of deviation from folk-psychological canon there is invention of terminology which further entrenches the new breakaway pattern-"ego defense. he introduces the idea of "dramatism. it must be a violation of the folk-psychologically canonical that is itself canonical-that is. But expectancy." "archetype." This creates Trouble. as it were. Dramatism is created. for example: what in the world is the rebellious . that a story (to meet the criterion of tellability) must violate canonical expectancy. He has much to say about what leads to the breakdown in the ratios between the elements of the dramatistic pentad. lose their appropriate "ratio." "introvert. the breach of convention must itself be conventional." and so on. And of course. Indeed. That is to say. And by this I do not intend to say that genres. Jung. I want to offer the hypothesis that literary genres represent stylized forms of violations of the folk-psychological canon. through Mesmer and the apostles of "suggestibility. the Actor and the Scene don't fit. but do so in a way that is culturally comprehensible." and on into modem times when new and "interesting" noncanonical stories have been invented by the likes of Pierre Janet. literature comes to invent and exemplify forms of deviation-and by "literature" I mean as well the literary-intellectual world of great innovators in human "personality" psychology ranging from the exponents of the four humoral types. is controlled by the implicit folk psychology that prevails in a culture. the betrayed fair maiden."4 Burke noted that dramatism was created by the interplay of five elements (he refers to them as the Pentad). and so forth. of course. I think that Kenneth Burke has a good deal to say about this "play of psychological states" in narrative. Now let me return to the issue of genre raised earlier. as already noted. is to demystify deviations.

but that is a topic that would takeus beyond the scope of this essay.And once one speaks.folkI psychologicalcanonicality. there are narrativedevices for indicating what. It may well be that with the emergence of mass cultures and the new massifying media.in Burke's sense. a conviction. By "turningpoints"I mean those episodes in which. a a thought.Self-Making 73 Nora in A Doll'sHousedoing in this banal doctor'shousehold?Or Oedipus ratios. new constraintson this variationoccur." RomanJakobsonput it a generationago. the range and variationin such tales and stories greatly increases. as it were. During his third game on this Catholichigh-school team. It relates to what I shall call the highlightingor "marking" turning points. the .. The example concerns his introduction of one of the leitmotifs in his spontaneously spoken autobiographyand occurredwhen he was a schoolboy. there is within every language at every level a highly elaboratedsystem for distinguishing the "marked"from the "unmarked"-what is to be taken for granted as given and what is to be highlighted as new. human condition.drawn from our "family"of autobiographies."of takinghis motherJocastaunknowinglyto wife.of drawing attentionto that which one wishes to forefront.the great myths that circulateare the archetypalforms of violation. matching the greater complexity and widened opportunities that accompany literacy.e. the eldest brother in the Goodhertz family. special. Genres develop.Dramatismconstitutestheirpatternedviolation. deviant. new forms emerge. is newsworthy-ways of marking.In a classically oral culture. the nomde plumewe use for our autobiographical family. the imbalancesin ratio between the elements of the Pentad. will give an examplein a moment.the narrator cial change or stance in the protagonist'sstory to a belief. But before I do that. language is a system not only for communicating. and these become increasingly"smoothed"and formalizedeven frozen-over time.So. for example. folk psychological)from that which is idiosyncraticand quintessentially agentive. or interestworthy. variety increases-at least at first. Let me present Carl. There is one featureof Westernautobiographythat needs special menof tion. to make it clearly and patently something more than a running off of automatic. The "appropriate are given by the canonical stances of folk psychology toward the course. This I see as crucialto the effort to individualize life. as if to underattributesa cruline the power of the agent'sintentionalstates. also for organizing attention.6Speakbut ing (in contrastto remainingsilent) is itself a way of marking. as we know from the classic studies of Russian folktalespublished by VladimirPropp.of course. He tells us that he went out for the footballteam. let me comment briefly on why I use the word As "marking. Now an example.I see the construction of narrative"turningpoints"as a device furtherto distinguish what is ordinary and expectable(i. and because he was heavy he made it.5In more mobile literarycultures.

"I've always done what my parents wanted. and eventually becomes a Vietnam war protester-which gives his initial deviation a new legitimization. "brooding. Their individual psychic geography reflects the cultural geography of New York in the late 1980s. . high school graduation is one such point. Eventually. they are located at points where the culture in fact gives more degrees of freedom-elbow room for turning points. given the way the world is. The world is a tough. He finds the Berrigan brothers. They represent a way in which people free themselves in their self-consciousness from their history. Had the autobiography been written before the break. dirty place where your coach asks you to knock out the opposing end. they mark off the narrator's consciousness from the protagonist's and begin closing the gap between the two at the same time. Carl finds a way of "patterning" his deviation from highschool culture-and "finds" is the right word. "I decided then and there this was not for me. Get him out of the game. And. one recognizes that folk psychology has "written" into it not only that people are directed by their own intentional states.. rep- . For the family. "That end. This signals an "inside" transformation. a new narrative structure. but that these change in patterned ways and at predictable times. their banal destiny." All such passages are marked by a mental verb. as for example with adolescence. Turning points are steps toward narratorial consciousness. So in this sense." He was shocked and put in a moral conflict. contained." He tells us that he became much concerned with moral integrity and how you maintain it. a change in intentional state. within certain limits. in the case of the Goodhertzes. he spent a lot of time in the library. I want him out of the game. And in a mass society one has the impression that the varieties of adolescent crisis become products of a literary/imagemaking industry. too. At that point I started thinking about what I was. In the months following. in most autobiographies." So he quit the football team right after the game. In America. in his or her own way. and I decided that . the literary culture concentrates its sense of invention on the exploration of consciousness and deviation during these predictable and privileged times.. you sense it would have been a different autobiography. becomes active in a neighborhood settlement house. We see all of these puzzles very concretely raised in the autobiographies of the family we are studying. But-and here I return to Professor Geertz's comment about the family as a system for containing and counteracting centrifugal tendencies-the family also serves as a microcosm in which the conflicts of the broader enclave are represented and. In doing so. an expression of the culture. Not surprising that. their conventionality. for example. never mind what anybody thinks.74 Bruner Jerome coach said to him.7 Each is. You yourself must decide what is right in your convictions. Turning points need more study.

And that is the tribunalwhere they try out their changing versions of their self-image and their autobiographies.but of seeing themselves. with him having to take over responsibilitiestoo early. intentions that all of them took for grantedas "givens. When Carl. He likes his work.very differentfrom the others.Eachexpressesthis geography and morphologyin their own way. he feels that he lacks intimacyin his life. For in fact.When he marriedhe. They distinguish. Goodhertzis thinkingabout retiring. becomes a Vietnamdraftprotester. sympathy. but nonetheless a highly personal one for the Goodhertzes.with an alcoholic father who deserted the family.The values for the real world are "street smarts. from which the past .but always to be aware of what seemed be the case in contrastto what the case might in to fact be. "We are a highly moral family. for each is different. His fatherwas "hardhat. And this shared morphology forms the way not only of seeing others. each could have their own version of the world if they came by it through honest conviction. He played his cardsclose to his chest.Mrs.But Carl'sstand on the war (like his stand on the footballteam) was also premissed on a belief that his fatherbelieved in individual integrity.He had a rough childhood. In the family. desires. however different they may be."he says in an interview. for example." as they put it: how to deal with the hypocritical.the ambitious. sharing."and the two of them have in fact made a home for their kids--indeed have lived in the same Brooklyn neighborhoodnow for thirty years.Believe it too.The values of home ar openness. for example. Goodhertz was a woman of strongviews.Self-Making 75 resents an implicitcommitmentto a way of life--certain beliefs.neighborhood. and forgiveness.Rightnow. they each define themselves in terms of those private family values of openness. became a trusted and dependable man in the community-but had few intimates.His responsewas to take responsibility. illegally underageat that time). The father is a man who managed to become a master sergeant in the peacetime army before he was twenty-five (having enlisted at eighteen.we see the family cultureat work."but he backed Carlwhen he became a draft-evader. went into plumbing afterdischarge from the Army. where they have become pillarsof the community. between the "real world" and "home"-surely a widespread distinction in the culture.the eldest son.the exploitative."It is as if they share a morphology of the world and of people. It is interesting to see him shaping a new turningpoint in his life. decided that they would protect their childrenfrom the tough times they had known as children. They boast that there is nothing they cannot discuss around the Sunday dinner table when they come together.Mr. and it gives him a needed sense of autonomy and self-reliance.Besides. like his wife who also had experienceda hard childhood. "a Catholicand a Democrat.So long as Carl came honestly by his opinion. forgiveness. that was fine.

as locked up inside one person's subjectivity. of course. one's view of the world and one's place in it. defining the Self and its allies also defines those who are in the out-group. a subject we have not considered in any detail thus far and cannot in the compass of a brief essay. the books one has on one's shelves. And the force that relates the center to the rest of the world is a commitment that endures over time-a commitment that ensures a certain stability in self-conception.9 It is this commitment. it turns out on close inspection to be highly negotiable. that provides the engine. one opts for a view of commitment as individual. So. but also permits the autobiographer to maintain a sense of alliance with others--alliance and opposition as well. Rather. as hermetically sealed off. Self-making is powerfully affected not only by your own interpretations of yourself. but by the interpretations others offer of your version. and one is led to wonder whether there is something "essential" about our contemporary notion of selfhood or whether it will change as much as it has in the past. highly sensitive to bidding on the not so open market of one's own reference group. as Charles Taylor has recently reminded us. given that autobiography is also a form of "taking a stand. one begins to come very close to what Goodman describes as "worldmaking" in which the constructed Self and its agentive powers become. Yet somehow.8 Perhaps what remains most stable about the Self as an enduring concept over time. as one observes this process of self-formation. from the Middle Ages to the rise of mercantilism. as it were. For as both Taylor and Henri Tajfel point out. that it is probably a mistake to conceive of Self as solo. Yet it has not always and everywhere been so. Self seems also to be intersubjective or "distributed" in the same way that one's "knowledge" is distributed beyond one's head to include the friends and colleagues to whom one has access. there is resistance to such a view in most people. For in our Western culture. that maintaining a version of your life concordant with those of the others in the family is a paramount consideration. say. But you sense that it is being designed with the others in mind. And when one combines the rhetoric of self-justification with the requirements of a genre-linked narrative. of course. One anomaly. there seems always to be a degradation of the out-group that . But we have touched on it obliquely in noting the "evaluative" component in autobiographical discourse." it is perforce rhetorical. is a sense of commitment to a set of beliefs and values that we are unwilling (or unable) to submit to "radical" scrutiny. as it were. the gravitational center of the world. one's relation to others. the notes one has filed.76 Bruner Jerome will look different. is that while Self is regarded (at least in Western ideology) as the most "private" aspect of our being. for the rhetorical aspect of autobiography. and as Tajfel has so brilliantly demonstrated. It becomes plain. For "what makes the telling justifiable" is also a commitment to a certain set of presuppositions about oneself.

autobiography (like the novel) involves not only the construction of self. under Katherine Nelson's leadership.11 It is interesting to contemplate the Romantic stereotype that insists that one can "find" one's Self only by withdrawing from the world-as with the 1970s undergraduates who would ask for a leave of absence to go live in a village in Maine or Nepal or the Greek Islands in order to "find themselves. have recently published a study of one child's after-bedtime soliloquies--a good many of which are quasiautobiographical. D. Rather. Remembering (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversityPress. C. it is surely clear that the criteria of "rightness" for a constructed world have very little to do with the usual criteria for establishing "truth" either by correspondence or by congruence. how it is that such isolating concepts can survive the actual experience of self-accounting. 1932). 1986). Autobiographical Memory (Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press. C. though the literature on the subject is voluminous. 1. by contrast.Self-Making 77 has a special role.12 What is apparent from that work and from other recent studies is that self-construction begins very early and is a strikingly systematic process that is deeply enmeshed with the mastery of language itself-not just its syntax and lexicon. but also a construction of one's culture-just as Geertz assures us that writing anthropology also involves a kind of autobiography.. rightness appears to be pragmatically controlled-it is what one can live with among those with whom one interacts in the setting where one must operate. ed. The soliloquies extend from Emmy's eighteenth month to her third birthday. Like all other aspects of worldmaking. and one not very well studied. self-making (or "life-making") depends heavily upon the symbolic system in which it is conducted-its opportunities and constraints." I think this is a lingering vestige of the notion of an "essential" self that has a being independent of the culture in terms of which one navigates the world. And I hope that in the course of these remarks I have indicated some of the ways in which his ideas can be put to work in this domain. Bartlett. To revert again to one of Goodman's points about worldmaking. It is a vast topic. A group of us. One final word about the development of the self-concept in different cultures under different conditions of life. It is a great puzzle. examining actual autobiographies and the process of their construction. NOTES 1. .ualities qualities In this sense. Rubin. one's in-group. in defining one's own and the of those with whom one is allied. but its rhetoric and its rules for constructing narrative. See F. I would like to end with the comment that Nelson Goodman's constructivism arms one well to appreciate the complexities of self.and life-making.

This work is now nearingcompletionand will appearas J. 12. Fora fullerdiscussionof this point. W.Sources theSelf(Cambridge.:HarvardUniversityPress.:GeorgetownUniversity Press.pp. Text ed.78 JeromeBruner 2. Propp.1988). ed. 6.Differentiation between (London:AcademicPress. 10.rev. D.C. TheMorphology theFolkTale. (New York:Prentice-Hall.:Harvard and Weisser.:HarvardUniversityPress. JeromeS."SpeechActionsand Reactionsin PersonalNarrative. On the Margins of Discourse Press.see part Groups 1.TheGrammar Motives 1945). Labov. ActsofMeaning Mass. of 5.Autobiography theConstruction Self(Cambridge.1986). 8. CliffordGeertz. 9. K. D. R.:HarvardUniversity fromthe Crib(Cambridge. of UniversityPress). Moutonde Gruyter. Narratives Mass. 1990). (Cambridge. S. Nelson. Writings. of 1989). Mass. . 11.1978)." Analyzing Discourse: and Talk. BarbaraHerrnstein Smith. (Austin:Universityof Texas of Press.Works Lives(Stanford: and Stanford UniversityPress. Tajfel. H. 1982). (Berkeley: Universityof California 4.1989). Bruner. Brunerand Susan Mass. Tannen(Washington. Jakobson.see my Actsof Meaning. 8 (Berlin: 7. ed.1986). V.. Press. 92f. Selected vol. KennethBurke. CharlesTaylor. 1988). in 3.