This special issue of Contemporary Social Science provides a variety of perspectives on current thinking on the nature of the self within a sociocultural context. These viewpoints show the self to be, paradoxically, both autonomous and interdependent. It is reflexively open, socially embedded and interactively created. This leads to the proposal that the self is a relational not a metaphysical or essential entity. The present paper, therefore, summarises various developments in current social science thought which explore the dynamic, relational and nonlinear understanding of the self. These mainly involve the consideration of the complex links between agents and structures. The critical interrogation of these links, starting from an agent-based systems perspective, highlights the contextual and dialectic emergence of the self in contemporary society. This provides a fresh interdisciplinary framework for understanding the complex dynamics of both the self and society which has practical implications.
I am grateful to Professor David Canter (FAcSS) for his encouraging support during the whole course of doing this special issue. I would also like to warmly thank Research Professor Lily Stylianoudi (Academy of Athens), Professor Ioannis Katerelos (Panteion University) and Ms Olga Papadopoulou for their kind helps. Finally, I heartily acknowledge all CSS's external reviewers for their valuable help in reviewing the paper submissions and bringing the manuscripts to their current form.
Notes on contributor
Charalambos Tsekeris is currently Research Associate at the Research Centre for Greek Society of the Academy of Athens, Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Athens, Senior Researcher at the Laboratory of Virtual Reality, Internet Research & E-Learning (Panteion University), and Research Professor at Aegean College, Athens, Greece. His current research interests involve relational approaches in the social science, reflexivity and the self, human complex systems and psychosocial networks. He is the coeditor of the book The Social Dynamics of Web 2.0 (Routledge, 2014).