Felicity M. Turner-Zwinkels: "A New Psychological Perspective on Identity content Its Conceptualization, Measurement, and Application"
On February 16, 2017 Felicity M. Turner-Zwinkels successfully defended the PhD thesis entitled "A New Psychological Perspective on Identity content Its Conceptualization, Measurement, and Application" at .
Identity content is central to the way that identity researchers think out identities: Identity content is the carrier of an identity’s meanings, which the individual uses to understand who they are. However, the literature so far (e.g., gender studies, group norm research and identity complexity) uses diverse theory and methods to study identity content. In response, this dissertation introduces a new, integrative approach to identity content which seeks to unify lessons learnt from these literatures into a novel conceptualization of identity content and associated methods (chapter 2). This dissertation then showcases different applications of this integrative identity content approach in politicization research (chapters 4-7), to investigate how individuals change as they come to see themselves as activists. In this research we explore what political identities mean (chapter 7), why meaningful identities are necessary (chapter 3), and how political identities not only become part of the self (Chapter 6), but also can become central in defining how an individual sees themselves (chapter 4 & 5). In doing so we gain an insight into the ‘black box’ of politicized identities, highlighting both what they are, and how they come about. We conclude that this integrative approach facilitates important advances in politicization research, allowing the confirmation of phenomena long assumed to be present when individuals politicize: Our research confirms that politicization truly is a long-term process of qualitative change in the self-concept, in which multiple identities within the self-concept are gradually adjusted and tessellated together to make a coherent and politically oriented whole.