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1. an individual's consciousness of his own identity or being
2. Philosophy that which is essential to an individual, esp the mind or soul in Cartesian metaphysics; the ego
3. a bird, animal. etc., that is a single colour throughout, esp a self-coloured pigeon
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


a mental construction of the person, by the person, but inevitably formed from social experience. Thus the person sees him/herself reflected by others, in their reactions, and these are interpreted through the lattice of self-perception. MEAD (1934) is particularly associated with this idea of the self as being a social construction; self cannot exist without society – the self is where knowledge resides, but the knowledge is about society, which surrounds it. Theorists such as Mead and COOLEY (see SYMBOLIC INTERACTIONISM, LOOKING-GLASS SELF) and some sociologists also emphasize the REFLEXIVITY and creativity possessed by social actors. This view of the self and self-identity contrasts sharply with conceptions of DECENTRED SELF recently to the fore within POSTSTRUCTURALISM (e.g. LACAN).

The 'self also receives varied formulation within PSYCHOLOGY and PSYCHOANALYSIS (see EGO-PSYCHOLOGY, OBJECT RELATIONS SCHOOL, LACAN).

The concept of self is particularly important to developmental and HUMANISTIC psychologists. Humanistic theorists (e.g. MASLOW, 1954) see the goal of the individual as SELF-ACTUALIZATION. (See also SOCIAL IDENTITY, PERSONALITY).

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in philosophy, the expression of the unity and identity of individual self-consciousness. The self is one of the basic structures of the individual personality as related to other individual personalities—for example, “you” or “we.” It is the central category in various systems of idealist philosophy, such as that of J. G. Fichte.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about yourself?

To encounter one’s self in a dream indicates that one has come face to face with issues and needs that can no longer be ignored.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


A small, dynamically typed object-oriented language, based purely on prototypes and delegation. Self was developed by the Self Group at Sun Microsystems Laboratories, Inc. and Stanford University. It is an experimental exploratory programming language.

Release 2.0 introduces full source-level debugging of optimised code, adaptive optimisation to shorten compile pauses, lightweight threads within Self, support for dynamically linking foreign functions, changing programs within Self and the ability to run the experimental Self graphical browser under OpenWindows. Designed for expressive power and malleability, Self combines a pure, prototype-based object model with uniform access to state and behaviour. Unlike other languages, Self allows objects to inherit state and to change their patterns of inheritance dynamically. Self's customising compiler can generate very efficient code compared to other dynamically-typed object-oriented languages.

Version: 3.0 runs on Sun-3 (no optimiser) and Sun-4.

["Self: The Power of Simplicity", David Ungar <> et al, SIGPLAN Notices 22(12):227-242, OOPSLA '87, Dec 1987].
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (
References in periodicals archive ?
Table 5 Regression Analysis for Academic Self Efficacy Predicting Actual GPA of Students
Self Acceptance###33.7+-3.3###26.3+-4.3###.75###.03###36.7+-3.3###22.3+-4.3###1.34###.002
Persons with disabilities (PWDs) also need positive self -esteem as their normal peers possess.
Comparison of High Self-Supporting and Low Self-Supporting Groups Results High self-supporting group Physiological self 53.20 [+ or -] 4.31 Moral self 53.37 [+ or -] 5.47 Psychological self 52.43 [+ or -] 5.80 Family self 54.75 [+ or -] 4.91 Social self 51.17 [+ or -] 5.61 Self-identity 10.83 [+ or -] 5.15 Self-satisfaction 96.82 [+ or -] 1.35 Self-action 92.71 [+ or -] 1.84 Low self-supporting group t p Physiological self 44.73 [+ or -] 7.45 6.175 .000 Moral self 44.72 [+ or -] 7.34 5.885 .000 Psychological self 41.76 [+ or -] 7.43 6.943 .000 Family self 44.36 [+ or -] 9.94 5.863 .000 Social self 41.83 [+ or -] 7.60 6.161 .000 Self-identity 87.59 [+ or -] 1.77 6.744 .000 Self-satisfaction 85.19 [+ or -] 13.50 4.203 .000 Self-action 77.88 [+ or -] 11.15 5.837 .000 Table 2.
What he has given in marriage is his very self until death, and she as well.
Scott (1999) suggested that school counselors and other school personnel can play an essential role in early adolescent psychological well-being by modeling high self esteem.
These results argue against the hypothesis that ability to self is reserved for the special situation when a single individual needs to propagate.
My mother's self, the thing that was her for all these years, the thing I had imagined fixed as flint beneath her bones has fractured, shattered like a crystal vase dropped on concrete.
I find Peters's emphasis on our "big self" as an expression of our interconnectedness with culture and cosmos to be a helpful antidote to an excessive individualism and anthropocentrism that can endanger not only the environment but people in need as well.
That is, in a state of OSA, the person's attention is focused exclusively on the self; the person is the "object" of his or her own attention, and is now seeing himself (sic) as he thinks others are seeing him.
The larger-format Polaroid film he used in the late '70s and early '80s allowed for visually playful "Where's Lucas?" games in the strategically cluttered environments of his Still Life series and for the comically creepy Sitting works, formal portraits of friends in various stages of undress that, along with Self (1969), a charmingly anarchic twenty-three-minute cinematic self-portrait Samaras made with critic Kim Levin, provide the show's only evidence of life on earth outside its protagonist's bubble.