The study of self has been one of the most exciting and important areas of social psychology over the past several decades. This reader presents an elite collection of the most important and influential articles on the topic. The selection was based on a lengthy poll of the entire membership of the International Society for Self and Identity, in which hundreds of articles were rated for possible inclusion and the highest rated ones were chosen for inclusion, along with some of the field's most recent work to balance the coverage.
The volume begins with an original introduction by Roy Baumeister which provides an overview of the study of the self. The readings themselves are then organized into 10 thematic sections covering core topics such as self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-regulation, self-presentation, and the self and culture. Each section has an introduction that describes other relevant work, in order to place the selection in its full intellectual context. Sections also include annotated suggestions for further reading to guide further study, and discussion questions.