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


Conference Paper

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Smith-Lovin, L

Published Date

  • January 1, 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 70 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 106 - 124

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0190-2725

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/019027250707000203

Citation Source

  • Scopus