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ERIC Number: EJ1003735
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 60
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
The Embedded Self: A Social Networks Approach to Identity Theory
Walker, Mark H.; Lynn, Freda B.
Social Psychology Quarterly, v76 n2 p151-179 Jun 2013
Despite the fact that key sociological theories of self and identity view the self as fundamentally rooted in networks of interpersonal relationships, empirical research investigating how personal network structure influences the self is conspicuously lacking. To address this gap, we examine links between network structure and role identity salience. We identify two features of personal networks that potentially affect how social ties shape identity salience: (1) proportion and strength of ties to role-based others (RBOs) and (2) embeddedness of RBOs, or the breadth of access that a role-based group has to the rest of an individual's network. Across three role identities (student, religious, and work), we find that our measure of embeddedness predicts role identity salience but that the proportion and strength of ties do not. Thus, our study does not support the proposition that identity salience is a product of an individual's social and emotional attachment to role-based groups. Rather, our findings suggest that a role identity becomes more salient as role-based others become more tightly woven into an individual's social fabric. (Contains 3 figures, 7 tables and 13 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A