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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

For more than a century, scholars have defined the self as a social phenomenon dependent on relationships and embedded within a sociohistorical context. Yet a review of the empirical study of identity over the past forty years reveals significant divergence from this individual-in-context perspective. This chapter returns to the sociocultural roots of identity development study, reviewing empirical research with adolescents from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds and the works of others that focus on how cultural stereotypes about race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, social class, and nationality intersect to form the context within which individuals construct, experience, and interpret their ethnic and racial identities. This review makes evident that identity is simultaneously personal and social and that stereotypes about social categories are a significant link that binds them. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the implications of these findings for research and theory on identity development and for the field of psychology more broadly.

Keywords: Identity, culture, stereotypes, intersectionality

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