The Self-Concept of Johnny Cash

Topics: Johnny Cash, Walk the Line, June Carter Cash Pages: 4 (1518 words) Published: October 21, 2010
Introduction to Communications
The Self-Concept of J.R. “Johnny” Cash
The individual self, also known as the personal or private self, is achieved by differentiating oneself from others (Markus, 1977; Tajfel & Turner, 1986). Johnny Cash spent most of his adult life being different from others. An obvious difference in him was that he always wore black. He was famous for that darkness that possibly could have been a reflection of the deep, dark, depression he lived with; the depression that was caused by his father’s physiological abuse and his low self-esteem. He also always introduced himself at the beginning of every show by saying, “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.” I’ve heard from people that have met him that he used the same introduction when meeting people. Johnny Cash is a legend in the music industry and was loved by fans all over the world but he couldn’t perceive that love and honor because of his low self-concept, self-esteem and self-worth. Johnny Cash’s self-concept was built by communication with his father, the particular other in his life. His father projected the life scripts and direct definitions upon him throughout his life. Johnny was set up to fail through his self-fulfilling prophecies. His self-concept led him to his struggle with drugs and alcohol which led him down a road of failure and heartbreak. Johnny’s father, Ray, was a vulture in Johnny’s life. He attacked Johnny’s self-concepts. He initiated harsh criticism and exploited Johnny’s weak spots, he picked Johnny apart by focusing on sensitive areas of his self-concept. He demolished Johnny’s self-esteem. Ray Cash was a harsh man that reduced his wife to tears and sent his children cowering. According to Johnny’s brother Roy, he was a strong disciplinarian that used the leather reins from his mule to whip his children. Ray was known to inflict psychological abuse through guilt trips, belittling, and power plays. An example of a power play is when Johnny was a 5 year...
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