London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Replacing purpose with pastiche? On childhood and shifting identity patterns

Author(s) Heinz Hengst  
Publisher CiCe Publications  
Year 2000  
Editor Alistair Ross, Curricula for Citizenship in Europe  
Language English  
Age group -  
If identity stands for the entity that provides us with an idea of who we are, and how we relate to others and the world in which we live, it constitutes the core integrative link between the individual and the society. In present-day societies, this link has become more difficult and increasingly fraught with risks. The range of available and traditionally prescribed patterns of identity has shrunk in size within the context of pluralisation, individualisation and destandardisation. Identities must be actively negotiated through communication and interaction, without recourse to any clearly defined scripts. Given such conditions, childhood research in the social sciences is seeking alternatives to the many studies in the past that investigated how identity develops along the path from new-born to adult. Today, it is essential to focus in their identities in the microworlds of everyday life. The paper places emphasis on the multiplicity of identities and on the differences and interactions between, and of, identities.

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