The strength of weak identities: Social structural sources of self, situation and emotional experience
Modern societies are highly differentiated, with relatively uncorrected 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 outline a structural view of 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 encounters, multiple-identity enactments (especially of salient self-identities) are quite rare. But where they occur, they are important indicators of potential social change.
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