Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Structural Integrity of the Humanities: Self-Related Constructs as Integrative Mechanisms

Dr. Howard Kaplan, Diane S. Kaplan.

The humanities and social sciences, often presented as discrete substantive areas, in fact bleed one into the other and so point up the absurdity of disciplinary boundaries. The validity of this observation is discussed and illustrated with regard to the several manifestations of self-related constructs across putative disciplinary boundaries. Self-related constructs are presented as playing a dominant role in: literature, psychohistory, communications, philosophy; cultural commentary on the fine arts; virtually every area of the psychological sciences; mass culture; comparative cultural systems; sociological and anthropological methodologies as these are applied in the study of virtually all social institutional arrangements including systems of religious thought, family systems, sociopolitical (including legal) structures, economic subsystems, educational structures, systems of psychological and physical health care deliver and diagnosis, and intergroup relations. Self-referent constructs encompass self-conceptualization, self evaluation, self-referent feelings, and self-protective or self-enhancing mechanisms. The humanities are understood to encompass the social and behavioral sciences as well as the more traditionally understood Liberal Arts disciplines.


Dr. Howard Kaplan  (United States)
Distinguished Professor of Sociology
Laboratory for Studies of Social Deviance Department of Sociology
Texas A&M University

Diane S. Kaplan  (United States)

Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture
Texas A&M University

  • Social Sciences
  • Behavioral Sciences
  • Disciplinary Boundaries
  • Culture
  • Self-referent
  • Self-enhancing

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)