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Josselson's Identity Theory
Transcript of Josselson's Identity Theory
Markus Ricks Josselson's Identity Theory Origins of Identity Josselson's Theory References Erikson defined identity as:
“a primarily unconscious process that unites personality and links the individual and the social world” (Josselson, 1987, p. 10).
"involving a subjective feeling of self sameness and continuity over time" (Josselson, 1987, p. 10).
However, it is important to acknowledge that identity is also constantly refined and modified overtime. Marcia's Model The model describes four types (statuses) of identity formation based on the presence or absence of crises and commitment in occupational and ideological (religious and political) realms:
Identity Diffusion Each identity status reflects the original pathway that she assigned in her 1978 study; the designation given in her 1996 publication follows in parentheses.
Foreclosures: Purveyors of the Heritage (Guardians)
Identity Achievements: Pavers of the Way (Pathmakers)
Moratoriums: Daughters of the Crisis (Searchers)
Identity Diffusions: Lost and Sometimes Found (Drifters) Josselson, R.(1987). Finding Herself: Pathways to Identity Development in Women. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers
Manning, K.; Kinzie, J.; Schuh, J. One Size Does Not Fit All: Traditional and Innovative Models of Student Affairs Practice
Knowles, K. Hazing: A Developmental Theory View. retrieved from: http://www.stophazing.org/devtheory_files/devtheory10.htm Josselson's Theory Foreclosures: Purveyors of the Heritage (Guardians) Identity Statuses Josselson's Theory Identity Achievements: Pavers of the Way (Pathmakers) Josselson's Theory Moratoriums: Daughters of the Crisis (Searchers) Josselson's Theory Identity Diffusions: Lost and Sometimes Found (Drifters) Josselson's Theory Higher Education Today StopHazing.org (http://www.stophazing.org/devtheory_files/devtheory10.htm)
Study sought to:
Analyze women who identified within the moratorium group.
Study acknowledged that:
"Women who are just beginning to explore their identity are likely to fall victim to being hazed so they do not jeopardize their position on the team" (Knowles).
"Women who are identified as moratorium look to others for approval and how to build their life and establish their identity. Allowing others on their team to make decisions for them, these women athletes are likely to look up to those who are in the position to haze them" (Knowles). In this pathway, women graduate from college with identity commitment but having experienced no identity crisis.
They make choices without:
questioning childhood messages.
"Typically they adopt standards about sexual morality, occupation, and religion based on parental beliefs and will not risk disappointing their parents (Josselson, 1978/1991)" (SJH). In this pathway women break the psychological ties to their childhood and form separate, distinct identities.
During adolescence, they create identity in their own way after considering who they were in the past and who they want to become in the future.
Rather than experience an intense identity crisis, many test their options silently and internally. The moratorium state is an unstable time of experimenting and searching for a new identity. After internalizing the values of the family, these women are convinced of the rightness of these values, but on learning of other legitimate ways of being, they are pulled into a tailspin of identity conflict.
(Josselson, 1996) Marked by lack of crisis and commitment, diffusers drift through life neither in a state of crisis nor commitment. They lack the will to construct a harmonious direction in their lives. Lack of parental direction from a very early age leaves them disoriented rather than independent. Women with diffused identities are typically lost with no sense of direction, feeling as if life had treated them unfairly.
(Josselson, 1996) Applications Origins of Identity "What impressed me the most was the loss in these men of a sense of identity. They knew who they were; they had a personal identity. But it was as if subjectively their lives no longer hung together and never would again...this sense of identity provides the ability to experience one's self as something that has continuity and sameness and to act accordingly"-Erickson “I seem to have run in a great circle, and met myself again on the starting line.”
-Jeanette Winterson, Oranges are Not the Only Fruit