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The Transformative SelfPersonal Growth, Narrative Identity, and the Good Life$
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Jack Bauer

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780199970742

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199970742.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 January 2022

Growth in the Hard and Soft Margins of Society

Growth in the Hard and Soft Margins of Society

(p.286) 10 Growth in the Hard and Soft Margins of Society
The Transformative Self

Jack Bauer

Oxford University Press

Not everyone is in the same position to live out their culture’s master narratives of a good life. This chapter explores the transformative self in the margins of society, which the chapter divides into hard and soft margins. The hard margins involve demographic categories—such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender—that accompany systematic forms of prejudice, discrimination, unfreedoms, and other hindrances to eudaimonic growth. Whereas people are thrust into the hard margins, the soft margins are sought or chosen by people who reject the materialistic and mechanistic values of mainstream society and wish to pursue eudaimonic growth. The bildungsroman, as a cultural master narrative for the transformative self, maps pathways of growth often in the soft margins but in the hard margins too. The chapter concludes by examining two master narratives of progress—upward mobility versus personal growth—notably in the hard margins of race.

Keywords:   cultural master narrative, hard margins, soft margins, unfreedoms, poverty, ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, bildungsroman

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