DB Post 5: Who Do We Think We Are? Note: Please treat this blurb as a serious re

DB Post 5: Who Do We Think We Are?
Note: Please treat this blurb as a serious reading for the course. Please take time to read it well. 
According to health and wellness writer Allaya Cooks-Campbell, the drive for success at work or in business often encourages us to perform behaviors “made with the intention to influence or change how other people see you” (“The Self Presentation Theory”). With particular success-oriented or adaptive goals in mind, we strive to present ourselves as appealing or well-suited to the colleagues from whom we want acceptance. In the same vein, we try to fit ourselves to environments where, despite fear and threat, we will blend in and be what others want us to be. (See that article here.)
This theory of self-presentation, elaborated by psychologist Erving Goffman, suggests a view of the self as very outwardly driven in the self’s everyday appearance and construction. According to psychologist Mark Snyder, when considering individuals’ need for self-presentation, a person might observe for themselves where fall on scales of “high self-monitors,” who more readily shift their self-presentation depending on the social need, versus “low self-monitors” who lean toward sameness of self-presentation, and so generally do not strive so much to “blend in,” no matter what challenging or threatening social contexts they encounter. Another way to describe these “low self-monitors” is individuals who strive for “authenticity.” (https://faculty.washington.edu/jdb/452/452_chapter_07.pdf)  It might be interesting for you to think about, which one–a high self-monitor or low self-monitor—are you? (See a blurb on Snyder’s work here.)
Snyder, M. (1987). Public appearances, private realities: The psychology of self-monitoring. W H Freeman/Times Books/ Henry Holt & Co.
xENG24Self-Monitoring Scale-High Self-Monitor Versus Low Self-Monitor (1).pdf xENG24Self-Monitoring Scale-High Self-Monitor Versus Low Self-Monitor (1).pdf – Alternative Formats
There are in fact many theories on “the self,” some starting from the outside and moving inward, such as Goffman’s self-presentation theory, or starting from the inside and moving outward. As an alternative to Goffman, D.W. Winnicott puts forward the concept of “true self versus false self.” These two selves within us appear to be in a constant inner struggle for which one we more fully experience and present to the outside world. Winnicott values the “true self” (as opposed to Goffman’s “blend-in” and “be who they want you to be” self).
So from here, from Winnicott’s theory, we get the idea of “just be yourself,” especially when a social challenge might spark false or inauthentic behavior. Ariely adds his own thinking to the “true self versus false self” inner struggle. He says that when counterfeit, or fake-brand, material goods are involved, research suggests we develop a “counterfeit self,” whether we are aware of our doing so or not.  See Chapter Five from our book. For a blog post on “true self vs. false self” based on Winnicott, see here.
Needless to say, the value of “being your true self” is very popular in social media. For example, this value is often expressed well by bloggers and posters who advocate wellness and self-care. This is the case with Reddit poster, Aniruddha Khandekar, in “What is the difference between a person’s ‘false’ self and ‘true’ self?” See that post here.  (To view the whole post, make sure you click “More.”)
To round out the complexities around self-presentation a bit further, we must acknowledge the complexity of gender and trans bias, systemic racism, anti-Blackness, anti-immigrant sentiment, anti-Semitism, classism, and many more harmful perspectives and structures that alter self-presentation and affect our notions of “who we really are” (whatever that may mean!)  This mix of societal pressures and biases is especially impactful in high stress social or work environments.  Years ago, the notion of “imposter syndrome” (a person feels like a fraud or imposter), first elaborated by psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes, assumed it was normal and common to feel insecure and have low self-image among “more competent” co-workers.  “Imposter syndrome” became a quick way to say, “I don’t feel like I belong. I am not good enough.” For a long while, this “syndrome” was thought to refer to experiences especially among people of color.  But later, business writers Ruchika Tulshsyan and Jodi-Ann Burey debunked “imposter syndrome” to say that a person’s low self-image was not the actual problem; rather it was so many barriers set in place—so many “systems of discrimination”–that were preventing and denying opportunities for people of color. For a great article on “imposter syndrome” and the debate around the idea, see here.
This week’s Discussion Board post asks you to consider the problem of self-presentation, honesty and dishonesty, and authenticity in relation to the story of award-winning journalist, and undocumented immigrant, Jose Antonio Vargas. Vargas created a false identity of being a documented American so that he could pursue his journalism and a successful career.
Create a 450-word, approximately, discussion board post, that follows these five steps (including word counts):
Read or view a source that will help you become familiar with Jose Antonio Vargas’s story. Choose one: Either A. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fOVrah-QfuOH3BIrXqrSbh5lhpUYaFb-zob5Bq5JaEw/edit#heading=h.gjdgxsrom the New York Times article, using this copy, with paragraph numbers: 
Or B, this 16-minute TEDx Talk Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmz9cCF0KNEwhere you can hear Vargas himself tell his story. 
Or C, this https://www.levistrauss.com/2017/01/03/jose-antonio-vargas-different-definition-american/ that has details and quotes about and by Vargas.
Tell which source you read or viewed and, from this source, write some basic facts you learned (one sentence per detail) about Jose Vargas’s life and background. These should be basic facts. Also offer a quote from the source by Vargas and document in parenthesis where the quote appears. (If you are using A. or C. give the paragraph number. If you are using B. give the time stamp from the video)  (80 words).
Define “turning point” using this keyword phrase: “psychological turning point definition.” Based on a few sources you find, write a two to three sentence definition of the term, “turning point.” Use qualifiers like “typically it happens that. . . “ or “generally, individuals at a turning point experience. . . “ so that I know you are really figuring the term out for yourself. Then go back to your source on Jose Antonio Vargas from step 1 and name, in just one or two sentences, two times in his life where he hit a turning point and why you choose those experiences. (100 words, approximately).
Continue focusing on your source about Jose Antonio Vargas. Answer: How, in your view, is Jose’s story REALLY a story about self-presentation—in other words, the problem of how Jose would present himself to others?  For a few sentences, talk about “self-presentation” in relation to Jose in a critical way. Use two small details from your source to prove your point.  (Again, include mention of the paragraph number or time stamp in parentheses).  As you write this step, be sure your answer makes mention at least a few of these terms: self-presentation; high self-monitor; true self versus false self; imposter syndrome; barriers to success (How you use the term is up to you.) (100 words, approximately)
View the Self-Monitoring Scale https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GfHkpihM_lezW3dH4opzi_rjhSWBN2js/view and answer the first 15 statements as true or false just on your own about yourself. What is a pattern that you notice about yourself—any assessment you can draw about yourself–based on the statements that you gave “yes”es and “no”s to in the first 15 statements? Next sentence: Imagine if Jose Antonio Vargas were to have responded to those statements when he was an adolescent or young adult? What pattern for himself would he have noticed possibly? (60 words, approximately)
Finally, as we have been doing, connect this topic to social media. Find a social media influencer or blog or TikTok poster who also makes a big deal out of self-presentation, authenticity, and/or “finding your true self.” Tell who it is, how many followers this person has, and how or why, in your opinion, this influencer or poster “stands out” (in a positive, neutral, or negative way) among other social media people and posters according to their self-presentation and/or their message about “being your true self.” Offer, in quote marks, a piece of advice they offer (I would love to hear a piece of their advice) and provide either a screen shot of the post you’re referring to, and/or the link. (80 words, approximately).
Your will receive 5 points: Followed all five steps, fulfilled the tasks within each of the five steps, met the word count.  
You will receive 4 points: Followed four out of the five steps, fulfilled the tasks within each of those four steps, met the word count for those steps.   
You will receive 2-3 points: Followed three out of the five steps, fulfilled the tasks of those three steps for the most part, did or did not fulfill the word count for those steps  
You will receive 1 point: An attempt was made but more time needs to be taken: Go back and try to fulfill all five steps, the tasks of those steps, and the word count.  
P.S. This DB post is worth 5 points. Blackboard understands that the total amount of points will actually be 7 points, but you will have the opportunity to gain another two points–in Replies to Classmates–in an upcoming week. For now focus on the 5 steps for 5 points.