The strength of weak identities: Social structural sources of self, situation and emotional experience

  • Smith-Lovin L
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Abstract

Modern societies are highly differentiated, with relatively uncorrelated socially salient dimensions and a preponderance of weak, unidimensional (as opposed to strong, multiplex) ties. What are the implications of a society with fewer strong ties and more weak ties for the self? What do these changes mean for our emotional experience in everyday life? I oultine a structural view of the self, situated identity, and emotion. It is an ecological theory in which interpersonal encounters are the link between the macro-level community structure and the micro-level experience of self-conception, identity performance, and emotion. In this ecology of enactments (especially of salient self-identites) are quite rare. But where they occur, they are important indicators of potential social change.

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Authors

  • Lynn Smith-Lovin

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