The concept of identity is one of the most important ideas the social sciences have investigated in recent years, yet no introductory textbooks are available to those who want to gain a sense of this burgeoning field. The first of its kind, this text provides an introduction to the scientific study of identity formation, with a focus on youth development. The analyses of the problems and prospects faced by contemporary young people in forming identities are placed in the context of societies that themselves are in transition, further complicating identity formation and the interrelated processes of self development and moral-ethical reasoning. In order to sort through what is now a vast literature on the various aspects of human identity, this book introduces the Simplified Identity Formation Theory. This theory cuts through much of the academic jargon that limits the accessibility of this promising field, and builds an understanding of human identity from first principles.
This book is optimized for students and instructors, featuring several useful pedagogical tools and a robust series of online resources: Primer format: the text synthesizes the vast and disparate literature that has characterized the field of Identity Studies, with a focus on identity formation during the transition to adulthood; theory and research is discussed in plain, non-technical language, using the author's new Simplified Identity Formation Theory. In-text pedagogy: to enhance student engagement, box insert and in-text examples from current events, popular culture, and social media are incorporated throughout the text; key terms are in bold in each chapter and combined in a glossary at the end of the text. Online resources for instructors: A robust set of resources that, when combined with the text, provides a complete blueprint for designing an identity course; resources include PowerPoint Presentations, test bank, sample syllabi, and instructor manuals for both face-to-face and online courses that include weekly written assignment questions and discussion-forum questions along with essay topic ideas and grading rubrics.
Online resources for students: a student manual, flashcards, practice quizzes, and exercises with video links.
Part I: Philosophical and Conceptual Roots of the Identity Question 1. From Ageless Questions to Current Theories 2. Culture and History: How Current Experiences Differ From the Past 3. A Social Psychology of Identities and Their Formation Part II: Late-Modernity: Contextual Adaptations to Individualization Processes 4. Moral Reasoning: A Relational Basis of Individualized Identities 5. Proactivity: Agency in Identity Formation 6. Identity Capital: Strategic Adaptions to Late-Modern Societies Part III: The Transition to Adulthood: Developmental Contextualism Applied to Late-Modernity 7. Current Scientific Approaches to Self Development and Identity Formation 8. Contexts of Identity Formation in Late-Modern Societies 9. Identity Formation and the Potentials of Human Development