ERIC Number: EJ868893
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Reference Count: 98
Identity Development Theories in Student Affairs: Origins, Current Status, and New Approaches
Torres, Vasti; Jones, Susan R.; Renn, Kristen A.
Journal of College Student Development, v50 n6 p577-596 Nov-Dec 2009
This article focuses on understanding how identity development is conceptualized in student affairs. The need to understand the person, context, and interactions between the two advances identity theories as relevant to student affairs practice. The more practitioners understand how students make meaning of their identities, the better they are able to assist in promoting student learning and development in higher education institutions. Although much of the research on college student development that informs student affairs practice originated in psychology, other disciplines contribute different lenses that can add to a more nuanced understanding of how identity evolves. Identity is often conceptualized as a developmental construct, and this conceptualization persists in current identity research. However, newer conceptualizations in both psychology and other disciplines resist the notion of identity as a developmental and linear process, instead emphasizing the fluid, dynamic, and performative nature of identity. Performativity illuminates the more contingent nature of identity and suggests that individuals create and recreate identity through their actions, which are constantly shifting. The review that follows includes both of these perspectives on identity. In addition, because identity is influenced by students' many roles, expectations, and beliefs, the authors also address the intersectionality of identity dimensions. Finally, they explore five future directions for research on identity development in college students.
Descriptors: College Students, Student Development, Student Personnel Workers, Interdisciplinary Approach, Individual Development, Self Concept, Identification, Social Psychology, Social Theories, Cultural Influences, Influence of Technology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A