Conceived and executed creatively to engage reader interest by providing contrasting viewpoints, this volume furnishes researchers, teachers, and clinicians with a useful overview of current issues in identity. The wealth of information presented here is a tribute to authors' boldness in advancing in new directions, as well as to Erikson, whose ideas continue to stimulate thinking and research. This book provides an indispensable foundation for anyone interested in identity development. ( James E. Marcia, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia)
As a handbook should, this volume provides a comprehensive and holistic description of identity development across the lifespan. But its gift to the multiple fields of identity research is the way it is designed to make the chapters 'talk' to one another and to the history of identity development theorizing and research. The contradictions and gaps in theory and research are made transparent, creating a handful of debates between and within multiple perspectives rather than a descriptive handbook. Thanks to the editors and authors for this valuable resource. ( Sheila Marshall, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Social Work/Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, University of British Columbia)
How fitting that the Oxford Handbook of Identity Development came about to bring more coherence to a field which itself studies coherence. Editors McLean and Syed and their talented authors accomplished their goal of shaking up the field by focusing on controversies and challenges rather than by rehashing what is already known. Each section of the Handbook is like a banquet for identity scholars; each course of the meal involves contrasting and complementary flavors. By the end of the banquet we are satisfied, yet stimulated to ponder the next set of debates, looking forward rather than back. ( Harold D. Grotevant, PhD, Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Instead of a review of past research, McLean and Syed present a future-oriented overview of the field with their Oxford Handbook of Identity Development. They fulfill my longstanding wish that all the researchers within the Eriksonian tradition start listening to each other in a joint attempt to integrate their different perspectives into a complex but more integrated identity of identity research. When you share this wish, the book offers an exciting starting point, excellent food for thought when you want to go beyond the confines of your own research. ( Harke A. Bosma, University of Groningen, the Netherlands)
Identity is defined in many different ways in various disciplines in the social sciences and sub-disciplines within psychology. The developmental psychological approach to identity is characterized by a focus on developing a sense of the self that is temporally continuous and unified across the different life spaces that individuals inhabit. Erikson proposed that the task of adolescence and young adulthood was to define the self by answering the question: Who Am I? There have been many advances in theory and research on identity development since Erikson's writing over fifty years ago, and the time has come to consolidate our knowledge and set an agenda for future research.
The Oxford Handbook of Identity Development represents a turning point in the field of identity development research. Various, and disparate, groups of researchers are brought together to debate, extend, and apply Erikson's theory to contemporary problems and empirical issues. The result is a comprehensive and state-of-the-art examination of identity development that pushes the field in provocative new directions. Scholars of identity development, adolescent and adult development, and related fields, as well as graduate students, advanced undergraduates, and practitioners will find this to be an innovative, unique, and exciting look at identity development.
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