Sex Roles

, Volume 29, Issue 7–8, pp 477–495 | Cite as

Photographic depictions of the self: Gender and age differences in social connectedness

  • Stephanie M. Clancy
  • Stephen J. Dollinger


With primarily (88%) Caucasian participants, the autophotography method [R. C. Ziller (1990), Photographing the Self, Newbury Park, California: Sage] was used to test for gender differences in social connectedness as hypothesized by a number of scholars [e.g., M. F. Belenky, B. M. Clinchy, N. R. Goldberger, and J. M. Tarule (1986), Women's Ways of Knowing, New York: Basic Books; N. Chodorow (1978), The Reproduction of Mothering, Berkeley: University of California Press; C. Gilligan (1982), In a Different Voice, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; J. V. Jordan (1991), “The Relational Self: A New Perspective for Understanding Women's Development,” in J. Strauss and G. R. Goethals (Eds.), The Self: Interdisciplinary Approaches, New York: Springer-Verlag; N. P. Lyons (1983), “Two Perspectives: On Self, Relationships, and Mortality,” Harvard Educational Review, Vol. 53, pp. 125–145]. Relative to men (N=59), women (N=142) included more pictures of self-with-others, people smiling, people touching, groups of people, and family in their autophotographic essays. Relative to women, men had more photos of the self-alone and more photos involving physical activity and motor vehicles. Age trends suggested (a) increasing connectedness among women but not among men, and (b) greater transcendence of temporal and material concerns for both genders. When taken together with past findings employing more verbal methods, the results provide compelling evidence that women define themselves in more socially connected terms whereas men's self-definitions emphasize the quality of separateness.


Physical Activity Social Psychology Motor Vehicle Compelling Evidence Interdisciplinary Approach 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie M. Clancy
    • 1
  • Stephen J. Dollinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Illinois UniversityUSA

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