Navigating Multiple Identities: Race, Gender, Culture, Nationality, and Roles

Navigating Multiple Identities: Race, Gender, Culture, Nationality, and Roles

Oxford University Press
March 2012
288 pages
Paperback ISBN13: 9780199732074; ISBN10: 0199732078

Edited by

Ruthellen Josselson, Professor of Psychology
Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California

Michele Harway, Faculty Research Specialist
Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California

Although questionnaires routinely ask people to check boxes indicating if they are, for example, male or female, black or white, Hispanic or American, many people do not fit neatly into one category or another. Identity is increasingly organized multiply and may encompass additional categories beyond those that appear on demographic questionnaires. In addition, identities are often fluid and context-dependent, depending on the external social factors that invite their emergence. Identity is constantly evolving in light of changing environments, but people are often uncomfortably fixed with societal labels that they must include or resist in their individual identity definition.

In our increasingly complex, globalized world, many people carry conflicting psychosocial identities. They live at the edges of more than one communal affiliation, with the challenge of bridging different loyalties and identifications. Navigating Multiple Identities considers those who are navigating across racial minority or majority status, various cultural expectations and values, gender identities, and roles. The chapters collected here by Josselson and Harway explore the ways in which individuals attain or maintain personal integration in the face of often shifting personal or social locations, and how they navigate the complexity of their multiple identities.


  • Discusses different forms of identity, beyond race and ethnicity
  • Incorporates international perspectives

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1—The Challenges of Multiple Identity—Ruthellen Josselson and Michele Harway
  • Chapter 2—Multiple Identities and Their Organization—Gary S. Gregg
  • Chapter 3—The “We of Me”: Barack Obama’s Search for Identity—Ruthellen Josselson
  • Chapter 4—The Varieties of the Masculine Experience—Kate A. Richmond, Ronald F. Levant, and Shamin C. J. Ladhani
  • Chapter 5—Growing Up Bicultural in the United States: The Case of Japanese-Americans—James Fuji Collins
  • Chapter 6—The Multiple Identities of Feminist Women of Color: Creating a New Feminism?—Janis Sanchez-Hucles, Alex Dryden, and Barbara Winstead
  • Chapter 7—The Multiple Identities of Transgender Individuals: Incorporating a Framework of Intersectionality to Gender Crossing—Theodore R. Burnes and Mindy Chen
  • Chapter 8—A Garden for Many Identities—Suzanne Ouellette
  • Chapter 9—“I Am More (Than Just) Black”: Contesting Multiplicity Through Conferring and Asserting Singularity in Narratives of Blackness—Siyanda Ndlovu
  • Chapter 10—Identities in the First Person Plural: Muslim-Jewish Couples in France—Brian Schiff, Mathilde Toulemonde, and Carolina Porto
  • Chapter 11—Identity Wounds: Multiple Identities and Intersectional Theory in the Context of Multiculturalism—Michal Krumer-Nevo and Menny Malka
  • Chapter 12—Evaluation of Cultural and Linguistic Practices: Constructing Finnish-German Identities in Narrative Research Interviews—Sara Helsig
  • Chapter 13—“Because I’m Neither Gringa nor Latina”: Conceptualizing Multiple Identities Within Transnational Social Fields—Debora Upegui-Hernandez
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