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October 2021

Social psychology of identities

Journal/Book: Annu Rev Sociol. 2000; 26: 4139 El Camino Way, PO Box 10139, Palo Alto, CA 94303-0139, USA. Annual Reviews. 367-393.

Abstract: In this chapter I review the social psychological underpinnings of identity, emphasizing social cognitive and symbolic interactionist perspectives and research, and I turn then to key themes of current work on identity-social psychological, sociological, and interdisciplinary. I emphasize the social bases of identity, particularly identities based on ethnicity, race, sexuality, gender, class, age, and (dis)ability, both separately and as they intersect. I also take up identities based on space, both geographic and virtual. I discuss struggles over identities, organized by social inequalities, nationalisms, and social movements. I conclude by discussing postmodernist conceptions of identities as fluid, multidimensional, personalized social constructions that reflect sociohistorical contexts, approaches remarkably consistent with recent empirical social psychological research, and I argue explicitly for a politicized social psychology of identities that brings together the structures of everyday lives and the sociocultural realities in which those lives are lived.

Note: Review Howard JA, Univ Washington, Dept Sociol, Seattle,WA 98195 USA

Keyword(s): social construction of identity; language; intersections of identities; social cognition; symbolic interaction; WORKING-CLASS WOMEN; ETHNIC-IDENTITY; SELF-CATEGORIZATION; RACIAL IDENTITY; GENDER IDENTITY; UNITED-STATES; AGE; HOME; LIFE; RACE

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