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A clinical psychologist as well as a sociologist, Thomas J. Cottle is the author of more than twenty-five books. At the heart of his work is a concern with the problems confronted by ordinary people in their everyday lives, the kinds of issues that shape who we are and how we interact with the world around us. In A Sense of Self, his focus is on affirmation, on that mysterious process by which the self comes to know itself in relation to others and forges an identity. He pays particular attention to the role of devotion, showing how the taking of responsibility for another is the essence of affirmation, which in turn is the fundamental ingredient in the development of a self.