The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By by Dan McAdams
Dan McAdams, author of The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By
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McAdams to Give Talk at Chicago Humanities Festival on Nov. 3

How do Americans confront formidable concerns affecting generations to come, such as global climate change? Dan McAdams, professor of human development and social policy at the School of Education and Social Policy, will explain the surprising role of the stories Americans tell about their lives during his presentation on “America’s Redemptive Storehouse” at the Chicago Humanities Festival on November 3.

The theme of the 2007 Chicago Humanities Festival is “Climate of Concern,” and McAdams will approach the topic by discussing the psychological resources people draw on as they face tough challenges in the world. His research has found that Americans call upon a storehouse of redemptive narratives, particularly as they look to making the world a better place for future generations.

Since 1990, the Chicago Humanities Festival has brought world-renowned writers, artists, scholars, performers and policymakers to Chicago’s cultural institutions each November. McAdams’s talk will be featured from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Loyola University’s Rubloff Auditorium, 25 E. Pearson in Chicago. Tickets, which are $5, are available online here.

McAdams’s recent award-winning book, The Redemptive Self, shows how the motif of redemption distinguishes the life stories of highly generative Americans — adults who give their all in tending to the well-being of future generations. The book is based on almost 20 years of research.

A psychologist, McAdams is a leader in the recent emergence within the social sciences of narrative approaches to studying human lives — approaches that place stories and storytelling at the center of human personality. His theory of identity argues that people give meaning and unity to their lives by developing life stories defining who they are.

McAdams is the 2006 winner of the Theodore Sarbin Award, presented by the American Psychological Association for his “notable achievement” in the field of psychology. He is also a fellow of the American Psychological Society and the author of 14 books, as well as more than 150 articles and chapters. 

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Text quote from The Redemptive Self: Stories Americans Live By