Looking for Good Resources, Can Anybody Help?

To whom it may concern (or whomever might be reading this blog),

I recently sent an email to a good friend of mine that contained a bibliography for a paper I am working on. I wanted to him to look over it and give me any feedback he saw fitting. He commented on a few of the books, The Evolving Self by The Evolving SelfRobert Kegan (one of his favorite authors), Exclusion and Embrace by Miraslov Volf (which is a great book despite what the cover suggests, causing one to think that the publisher must have Exclusion and Embracesimply drawn a blank and solicited the help of a 7th grade graphic design class, only to select the least creative kid), and a couple of others that I’m unfamiliar with. I don’t know if anyone has come across them in their studies but I thought I would ask around just to see. As with any topic, the problem usually isn’t finding relevant resources, but finding the most relevant resources to read within your given time constraints. Anybody have any helpful feedback on these two below?

Where's the Poop? It Hurts When I Poop


8 Responses to “Looking for Good Resources, Can Anybody Help?”

  1. 1 Sammy March 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    You ought to ostracize your gross friend. Hopefully he lives far away from you.

    Sorry for the double-post earlier. My computer has the worst internet connection sometimes…

  2. 2 ericroorback March 11, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Well, I don’t know. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he is a seminary student and I’m just a lowly undergrad. He may know something I don’t about these books.

  3. 3 Drew March 12, 2008 at 10:10 pm


    The Evolving Self is a fantastic application of interactionist structuralism to adult cognitive development. His follow up In Over Our Heads is quite good as well since he touches on the postmodern as well. In that book he deals with the notion of otherness in a more profound way suggesting that relationality is the formative structure for selfhood rather than the other way around and goes from there. A big chunk of one of my theses had to do with Kegan and postmodernity.

    If you have read Otherwise than Being then Exclusion and Embrace is a nice companion (we actually read through most of both in a seminary class a while back). I have not read through the entire text, but what I read was excellent. Volf is on my never-ending list of theologians I should have already read, but have not gotten to deeply enough yet.


  4. 4 Drew March 12, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    Crap, I totally misread that. Sorry.

  5. 5 Sammy March 14, 2008 at 12:01 am

    Eric, I’m going to sort of contradict what I said on the phone today by providing some food-for-thought, especially in regard to your curiosity on disability and otherness. I ran across this in my research on the non-Western concept of the self:

    From Lefley, Harriet P. (2001). “Mental Health Treatment and Service Delivery in Cross-Cultural Perspective.” Cross-Cultural Topics in Psychology. Eds. Leonore Loeb Adler and Uwe P. Gielen. Westport, CT: Praeger.

    265: Differences in approach derive from differing world view and belief systems, kinship structure and caregiving roles, and cultural attitudes toward dependency and disability. Enculturation within the matrix of sociocentric or collectivist versus individualistic societies affects both self-perception and the way society treats persons perceived as behaviorally deviant or as mentally ill (see Triandis, HC (1995). Individualism and Collectivism).


    270: Major psychotic disorders such as shizophrenia tend to fragment the self, but cultural concepts of personhood are a key to how self-disorganization is experienced and evaluated. In less individualistic cultures, people’s concept of self is merged with that of the group. This tends to mitigate a sense of responsibility and guilt for personal deficiencies, unless they are connected with the group’s common good. Fabrega (1989) has suggested that in Western culture, with its highly individualistic ethos, the loss of the sense of self in conditions such as schizophrenia involves a loss of control, autonomy, ad meaning that makes it difficult for afflicted persons to distance themselves from their disorder. There is a fusion of identity with the illness. The person self-identifies as a mental patient, a “loser,” which leads to alienation and despair and induces chronicity. (for Fabrega: The Self and Schizophrenia: A Cultural Perspective. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 15, 277-290.)

    Hope this intrigues you as it did me. I’ll be chasing down Triandis and Fabrega, I’ll let you know if I have luck.

  6. 6 ericroorback March 14, 2008 at 3:59 pm


    You are too funny!

    I like the quotes and, as I said the other day, most of my focus has been on Western conceptions of selfhood so anything you come across in your studies on non-western perceptions is gladly welcomed.

    The collectivist vs. individualistic distinction, I believe, is very key in how people groups view disability. Amos Yong in his book Down Syndrome and Theology: Reimagining Disability in Late Modernity spent some time looking at some of the implications of such social structures and made a similar point. He commented, as your quotes did above, upon how collectivist societies allow for less social exclusion than most individualized societies.

    It’s fascinating to think of all the various factors that end up playing a role in how cultures understand personhood (I think also of Volf’s discussion on the role that language plays in reinforcing value judgments about those who are excluded), and yet at the same time it can be a bit discouraging, given that some of them are seemingly minor (I don’t think that is quite the word I am looking for but I can’t think of a better one) and yet are so damaging.

    I wonder (and fear!) what impact global capitalism is going to have on notions of personhood in the East in the years to come, given the damage it has done in dehumanization here in the West (and also already in parts of the East that are more/are becoming more “developed” – Bluh! that is the sound of me throwing up a bit at the categorization of “developed/undeveloped”). With that I will leave you with a quote as well, one that will put a smile on your face from the wit of the author, but also make you sad at its truthfulness:

    “It is true that capitalism quite often creates divisions and exclusions for its own purposes. Either that, or it draws upon ones that already exist. And these exclusions can be profoundly hurtful for a great many people. Whole masses of men and women have suffered the misery and indignity of second-class citizenship. In principle, however, capitalism is an impeccably inclusive creed: it really doesn’t care who it exploits. It is admirably egalitarian in its readiness to do down just about anyone. It is prepared to rub shoulders with any old victim, however unappetizing. Most of the time, at least, it is eager to mix together as many diverse cultures as possible, so that it can peddle its commodities to them all.” (Terry Eagleton, After Theory)

    Yeah, let me know if you are able to find those books by Triandis and Fabrega.

  7. 7 berencamlost March 17, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    So, the book “Where’s the Poop?”, is that a commentary on politics in Washington D.C.?

  8. 8 ericroorback March 17, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    Yeah, it actually is! Of coarse, this is the “politically correct” version. The original title, “Are you F***ing Kidding me?: A Commentary on Politics in D.C.” didn’t seem to go over well with the publisher. I think it was just too long.

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