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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews psychodynamic perspectives on the emergence and function of individuals’ identities. It draws on traditional psychodynamic theories, which focus on identifications with early caregivers, and systems psychodynamic ones, which focus on work groups and organizations, to put forward the idea of identity as a fabrication. That is, a process of positioning the self in (existential) time and (social) space in ways that fulfil its longings, sustain its beliefs, and bolsters its relations. The chapter argues that a psychodynamic lens can enrich other perspectives on identity, and concludes with some suggestions for future research.

Keywords: psychodynamics, identity, systems psychodynamics, identity work, identification, identity fabrication

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