Navigating Multiple Identities: Race, Gender, Culture, Nationality, and Roles

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Ruthellen Josselson, Michele Harway
Oxford University Press, USA, Apr 17, 2012 - Medical - 268 pages
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Although questionnaires routinely ask people to check boxes indicating if they are, for example, male or female, black or white, Hispanic or American, many people do not fit neatly into one category or another. Identity is increasingly organized multiply and may encompass additional categories beyond those that appear on demographic questionnaires. In addition, identities are often fluid and context-dependent, depending on the external social factors that invite their emergence. Identity is constantly evolving in light of changing environments, but people are often uncomfortably fixed with societal labels that they must include or resist in their individual identity definition. In our increasingly complex, globalized world, many people carry conflicting psychosocial identities. They live at the edges of more than one communal affiliation, with the challenge of bridging different loyalties and identifications. Navigating Multiple Identities considers those who are navigating across racial minority or majority status, various cultural expectations and values, gender identities, and roles. The chapters collected here by Josselson and Harway explore the ways in which individuals attain or maintain personal integration in the face of often shifting personal or social locations, and how they navigate the complexity of their multiple identities.

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About the author (2012)

Ruthellen Josselson is Professor in the School of Psychology at Fielding Graduate University. She is also a psychotherapist in private practice and Co-Director of the Irvin D. Yalom Institute for Psychotherapy. Dr. Josselson was formerly Professor of Psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Visiting Professor at Harvard University, and Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University. She has published many articles about narrative research as a form of inquiry, and she co-edited eleven volumes of The Narrative Study of Lives series. She is a founder of the Society for Qualitative Inquiry in Psychology. Her research focuses on women's identity and on human relationships. She has received the Henry A. Murray Award and the Theodore R. Sarbin Award from the American Psychological Association, as well as a Fulbright Fellowship.

Michele Harway is Professor in the School of Psychology at Fielding Graduate University. She is the founding chair of the clinical psychology doctoral program at Antioch University, and until recently, a member of its core faculty. She also maintains a small private practice in Westlake Village, California, where she specializes in couples and family psychology and working with trauma survivors. She is board certified in Couples and Family Psychology (American Board of Professional Psychology). Dr. Harway has authored or edited ten books and many book chapters and journal articles, and has presented at numerous professional conferences on couples therapy, cultural issues, domestic violence, trauma survival, and gender and family issues. Active in several divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA), she is a fellow of four divisions, a former president of Division 43 (Family Psychology), former treasurer of Division 51 (Men and Masculinity), and current representative to APA's Council of Representatives from Division 43. Dr. Harway is bilingual and bicultural, has worked and lived overseas, and maintains an interest in international issues.

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