Reflexivity of Identities, Definition(s) of

  • A (36)
  • B (19)
  • C (58)
  • D (26)
  • E (34)
  • F (43)
  • G (20)
  • H (19)
  • I (27)
  • J (11)
  • K (1)
  • L (16)
  • M (27)
  • N (18)
  • O (18)
  • P (33)
  • Q (5)
  • R (30)
  • S (59)
  • T (16)
  • U (4)
  • V (7)
  • W (39)

"Our perceptions of our identities are influenced by what we think others think of us as we enact our various roles." (Desrochers, Andreassi, Thompson)

"[T]he human ability to think of and refer to ourselves as if we were someone else" (p. 229) (Johnson, 1995).

The notion of reflexivity comes from symbolic interactionism, the 'grand theory' from which Stryker derived identity theory. A more in-depth explanation of reflexivity as it applies to identities can be found in Stryker and Serpe (1982), in which they state that: "…we come to know who and what we are through interaction with others. We become objects to ourselves by attaching to ourselves symbols that emerge from our interaction with others, symbols having meanings growing out of that interaction. As any other symbols, self-symbols have action implications: they tell us (as well as others) how we can be expected to behave in our ongoing activity…Persons acting in the context of organized behavior apply names to themselves…These reflexively applied positional designations, which become part of the 'self,' create in persons expectations with respect to their own behavior" (pp. 202-203). They later go on to define these aspects of the self, identities, as "reflexively applied cognitions in the form of answers to the question 'Whom am I'?" (p. 206). (Desrochers)

Glossary Source: 

Desrochers, S., Andreassi, J., & Thompson, C.  (2002, August 14). Identity Theory, A Sloan Work and Family Encyclopedia Entry. Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College.

Johnson, A. G. (1995). The Blackwell Dictionary of Sociology: A User's Guide to Sociological Language. Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge, MA.

As defined by Desrochers citing Stryker & Serpe:

Stryker, S., & Serpe, (1982). Commitment, identity salience and role behavior: Theory and research example. In W. Ickes & E. S. Knowles (Eds.). Personality, Roles, and Social Behavior. New York: Springer-Verlag.