Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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In the spirit of Jerome Bruner’s call for the study of individuals’ appropriation of cultural meanings, this paper outlines a “generative” theory of identity based on study-of-lives interviews conducted with young adult Americans and Moroccans. This theory holds that multiple self-representations tend to be integrated by structurally-ambiguous key symbols and metaphors whose meanings can change via figure-ground like shifts in the salience of their features — and that identity-formation employs some of the same cognitive structures as tonal music to organize personal meanings. This “generative” theory of multiple identities complements McAdams’ story structure model and Hermans’ dialogical model.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): culture; identity; narrative analysis; self
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