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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Identity refers to how people answer the question, “Who are you?” This question may be posed and answered explicitly or implicitly, at a personal or a collective level, to others or to oneself. Perspectives on identity tend to emphasize either personal or social contents and either personal or social processes. This chapter outlines key parameters for an integrative understanding of identity, arguing that identities are inescapably both personal and social, in their content and in the processes by which they are formed, maintained, and changed over time. Drawing on perspectives from psychology and neighboring disciplines, it examines the extensive and interconnected nature of identity content and the confluence of sociocultural, relational, and individual processes by which identities are formed, maintained, and change over time. The simultaneously personal and social nature of identity gives the construct its greatest theoretical potential: to provide insight into the relationship between the individual and society.

Keywords: personal identity, social identity, relational identification, collective identification, material identification, place identification, self-categorization, self-concept

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