Identical Twins: The Social Construction and Performance of Identity in Culture and Society, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Identical Twins

The Social Construction and Performance of Identity in Culture and Society, 1st Edition

By Mvikeli Ncube


112 pages

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pub: 2018-06-08
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In Identical Twins: The Social Construction and Performance of Identity in Culture and Society, Ncube conceptualises twin identity as a multi-layered dynamic that changes through performance, and explores twin identity through a social constructionist approach.

Until now, mainstream twin studies have mostly sought to explain social phenomena about twins from ‘inside’ the person, providing their explanations in terms of internal entities such as personality structures with an obvious underlying essentialist assumption. By examining the theories of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, Ncube shows that the ‘identity’ of twins is managed in both an academic and cultural context, and in relation to specific audiences.

Relocating the explanations that we gather in social research, including in qualitative research in psychology, the book focuses its enquiry on the social practices and interactions that people engage in with each other, not delving ‘inside’ the person. Using real-world twin accounts, the book maps out the social construction of twin identity, and allows for the twins’ own voices to be examined in relation to twin experiences.

Also addressing aspects of being misunderstood, as well as the idea of misunderstanding oneself, this is fascinating reading for students and researchers in critical and cultural psychology, and anyone interested in twin studies.

Table of Contents


1. Cultural representations of twins

2. Traditional twin research in psychology

3. Being misunderstood

4. Twin identity

5. Couples

6. Twins, culture and psychology


About the Author

Dr Mvikeli Ncube is a Visiting Teaching Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, in the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care. He is also an associate researcher with Caribbean African Health Network based in the same University. Ncube has published articles on Cultural Psychology and Social Identity.

About the Series

Concepts for Critical Psychology

Disciplinary Boundaries Re-thought

Developments inside psychology that question the history of the discipline and the way it functions in society have led many psychologists to look outside the discipline for new ideas. This series draws on cutting edge critiques from just outside psychology in order to complement and question critical arguments emerging inside. The authors provide new perspectives on subjectivity from disciplinary debates and cultural phenomena adjacent to traditional studies of the individual.

The books in the series are useful for advanced level undergraduate and postgraduate students, researchers and lecturers in psychology and other related disciplines such as cultural studies, geography, literary theory, philosophy, psychotherapy, social work and sociology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology