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Thursday, 9 July 2015
Identity Extension

Self, Identity, and Social Movements (Social movements, protest & contention),
Ed. Sheldon Stryker, Timothy J Owens and Robert W White, University of Minnesota Press, 2000,
Chapter 2 "Identity Work Processes in the Context of Social Movements" (pp. 41-67), page 50-51

The third of Snow and McAdam's four possible identity construction processes is 'identity consolidation', which:

involves the expansion of the situational relevance or pervasiveness of an individual's personal identity so that its reach is congruent with that of the movement.

Snow and McAdam point out that it mat be impossible to distinguish between the personal identity and the collective identity. For example, the new manager of a shop, arriving in his post to find that the shop is woefully understaffed and under-performing may take on many extra hours and shifts to keep the shop open and making profit. After a while the shop and its performance become "his baby"; he feels that he will be judged by the shop's performance and has no other life than working and keeping the shop open.

From the standpoint of the movement, personal identity and collective identity cannot be neatly bifurcated and compartmentalised and the personal and collective must be merged, or at least one must be enlarged to embrace the other.

Welcome to the machine!

Posted By Jonathan, 8:00am Comment Comments: 0