1st Edition

Analysing Identity
Cross-Cultural, Societal and Clinical Contexts

ISBN 9780415645812
Published June 3, 2013 by Routledge
416 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

People's identities are addressed and brought into being by interaction with others. Identity processes encompass biographical experiences, historical eras and cultural norms in which the self's autonomy varies according to the flux of power relationships with others.

Identity Structure Analysis (ISA) draws upon psychological, sociological and social anthropological theory and evidence to formulate a system of concepts that help explain the notion of identity. They can be applied to the practical investigations of identity structure and identity development in a number of clinical, societal and cultural settings. This book includes topics on national and ethnic identification in multicultural contexts and gender identity relating to social context and the urban environment. Clinical applications that describe identity processes associated with psychological distress are also examined. These include anorexia nervosa and vicarious traumatisation of counsellors in the aftermath of atrocity.

Analysing Identity is unique in its development of this integrative conceptualisation of self and identity, and its operationalisation in practice. This innovative book will appeal to academics and professionals in developmental, social, cross-cultural, clinical and educational psychology and psychotherapy. It will also be of interest to those involved with sociology, political science, gender studies, ethnic studies and social policy.

Of particular note is the availability of new software, Ipseus, which facilitates ISA for use by practitioners. It enables them to enhance their professional skills by ascertaining their clients’ perspectives on self as located in the social world. This has been successfully used with pre-school three to five year-old children, and all other age-ranges through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Ipseus is designed to be used in inter-cultural contexts and appeals to practitioners for their input for the generation of customized identity instruments (see www.identityexploration.com).

Table of Contents

Part 1: Theory and Practice. P. Weinreich, Identity Structure Analysis. P. Weinreich, Identity Exploration: Theory into Practice. The Theoretical and Empirical Studies. Part 2: Cross-cultural Issues. P. Weinreich, V. Bacova, N. Rougier, Basic Primodialism in Ethnic and National Identity. G. Horenczyk, S. Munayer, Complex Patterns of Cultural Allegiances: The Ethnic Identity of Palestinian Christian Arab Adolescents in Israel. Part 3: Societal Issues. K. Stapleton, J. Wilson, Grounding the Discursive Self: A Case Study in ISA and Discursive Psychology. M. Wager, Complex Identities: The Case of Academic Women. W. Saunderson, The City, Gender and Identity. H. Irvine, Adults Returning to Education: Gender and Identity Processes. A. MacNabb, Enterprising Identities: Gender and Family Influences. Part 4: Clinical Issues. P.D.G. Harris, Identity Formulation and Reformulation in Clinical Assessment and Therapy. W. Saunderson, M. O'Kane, Anorexia Nervosa: Analysing Identity for Predisposing, Precipitating and Perpetuating Factors. S. Black, P. Weinreich, An Exploration of Counselling Identity in Counsellors Who Deal with Trauma. P. Weinreich, Coda. Appendix: A Bibliography of Selected ISA Research. Author Index. Subject Index.

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Peter Weinreich has a Personal Chair in the School of Psychology at the University of Ulster.
Wendy Saunderson lectures in the School of Policy Studies at the University of Ulster.


"One cannot be but impressed by the wide range of issues the ISA theory of Peter Weinreich very successfully encompasses. There are two principal explanations for the adaptability of the ISA framework. First of all the extended definition of personal identity that is at the core of ISA theory: “A person’s identity is defined as the totality of one’s self-construal, in which how one construes oneself in the present expresses the continuity between how one construes oneself as one was in the past and how one construes one-self as one aspires to be in the future.” (p.26). Secondly the high variety of operationalisations that the Identity Exploration computer software proposed by the author makes possible. The operationalisations are mainly based on bipolar ratings of the self, significant others, membership groups and other groups on a set of scales which may bear on past, present as well as future aspects of the described targets. A multiplicity of patterns of possible relationships in these descriptions are singled out and are theoretically defined." - Willem Doise, Université de Genève, European Bulletin of Social Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 2

"This volume provides a coherent and interesting exposition of Identity Structure Analysis, a research procedure developed over the past several decades. To my knowledge, there is no existing publication that explores this procedure in anything like the depth that is presented here." - Peter B. Smith, University of Sussex

"This groundbreaking book presents a conceptually sophisticated and empirically grounded method to understand the complexities of cultural identity ... I highly recommend it for clinicians as well as researchers. You will never see identity the same again!" - Francis G. Lu, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco