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Model of Multiple Dimensions of Identity

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Kayla Johnson

on 20 March 2017

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Transcript of Model of Multiple Dimensions of Identity

Comprised of


-Multiple Social Identities

-Relationship of Social Identities to the Core & Identity Salience

-Contextual Influences
-based on study of diverse group of female college students

-not comfortable with being known as one thing (i.e., woman, black)
What is MMDI?
Multiple Social Identities
attends to socially constructed structures of inequality and privilege:
-sexual orientation
-social class

social identities intersect with one another, resulting in complex negotiations
-internally defining oneself
-externally managing perceptions of others

the more salient the social identity, the closer to the core it becomes (but they don't join)
Relationship of Social Identities to the Core & Identity Salience
salience (what is of importance) is represented as a dot and through its proximity to the core

the more privileged an identity, the less salient it is
-salience related to feelings of difference, otherness

visible differences are easier to negotiate, come to terms with

prism of difference and privilege: influences what is shown to the world & what is reflected from the world

"the internal sense of self"

-personal attributes
-personal qualities

impenetrable, unaffected by external influences

stability and personal agency

Jones & Abes, Ch. 4
Model of Multiple Dimensions of Identity
Kayla Johnson
HIED 556
Contextual Influences
contexts influence the salience of certain identities
-change in context may prompt change in salience

identities are deeply embedded in and created out of contexts:
-sociocultural conditions
-family background
-current life experiences

experiences of difference can emerge from larger contexts; we must manage our contexts
-masking differences
-living in a hybrid/bicultural identity
-private vs. public self

It models the...
"relative salience of identity dimensions in relation to difference, multiple layers of identity, braiding of gender, and contextual influences on the construction of identities"
Conclusions & Limitations
MMDI illustrates the fluidity and dynamic nature of identity.

Identity will undoubtedly change over time.

MMDI accounts for both internal and external constructs of identity.

MMDI does not portray identity development, but is a snapshot of identity at one point in time.

The model is not exhaustive; some identities remain left out.

It does not account for the fact that identity can influence context.
Prism of Difference & Privilege
Jones, S.R., & Abes, E.S. (2013)
Identity development in college students

So what?
Understand that students are constantly reconfiguring their identities.

We must continuously mold and adapt our approaches to fit their changing needs.

Recognize that we are part of their "contexts", their external influences, and that we impact their social identities and core sense of self.
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