According to Berger and Luckmann (1966, p.170), they are “important for the ongoing confirmation of that crucial element of reality we call identity”. Definition and Examples, Assessing a Situation, in Terms of Sociology, Symbolic Interaction Theory: History, Development, and Examples, What Is Gender Socialization? In the United States, the term is sometimes used in invitations, such as to weddings and office parties. Significant others may be influential because of the roles they fill (parents, teachers) or because one has selected this significant other as important (popular celebrities, best friends, favorite relative, boyfriend or girlfriend). Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. �&B�܏�A�6`����`�k�^Yu4f&�0��1��.�����^^n�w�dӼz��_�௯_�y{ތ^��?k|3��x�`2���_�ZIe��x1z�j���]� /��!�SBe3�`wXk%&@(�&'F�8G���ol[���TrJ�;��}���*ŧ�Ki�?�9)�= �s�@��>�JBM������a%�� b�l�\��COċCQp��u]�D�o�I���B_�\�e� ;���OG��j���r�Nc3��p�Ka���������T�b�%" ���7�~�!\���ȈR. 2015. In this case, significant does not mean that the person is important, and it doesn't refer to the common parlance of a romantic relationship. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. “Significant other” was coined by psychiatrist Henry Stack Sullivan in Conceptions of Modern Psychiatry (1940) to describe anyone, of whom one has specific knowledge, believed important to one’s well-being. a person, as a parent or peer, who has great influence on one's behavior and self-esteem. Contemporary research has developed towards a “social-cognitive model of transference”, which outlines how in the mind of an agent a hitherto unknown person can activate, and have applied to them, a mental representation of a significant other. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology, Sex and Gender Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links, Word origin of “significant” and “other” – Online Etymology Dictionary:,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, American English – /sig-nIf-i-kuhnt UHTH-uhr/, British English – /sig-nIf-i-kuhnt UHTH-uh/. 3rd ed. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. 2nd ed. Bilton, Tony, Kevin Bonnett, Pip Jones, David Skinner, Michelle Stanworth, and Andrew Webster. 15, 8050 Zurich – Switzerland E-Mail: Abstract On the other hand, critical sociology challenges the conservative tendencies of quantitative sociology and structural functionalism. 37, No.4, December 1972 Two main concepts are used to indicate the persons who are most influential in the life of an individual. 2011. In their attempts to establish a scientifically based academic discipline, a line of creative thinkers, including Herbert Spencer, Benjamin Kidd, Lewis H. Morgan, E.B.

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