Narrative and the cultural psychology of identity

Pers Soc Psychol Rev. 2008 Aug;12(3):222-47. doi: 10.1177/1088868308316892. Epub 2008 May 9.


This article presents a tripartite model of identity that integrates cognitive, social, and cultural levels of analysis in a multimethod framework. With a focus on content, structure, and process, identity is defined as ideology cognized through the individual engagement with discourse, made manifest in a personal narrative constructed and reconstructed across the life course, and scripted in and through social interaction and social practice. This approach to the study of identity challenges personality and social psychologists to consider a cultural psychology framework that focuses on the relationship between master narratives and personal narratives of identity, recognizes the value of a developmental perspective, and uses ethnographic and idiographic methods. Research in personality and social psychology that either explicitly or implicitly relies on the model is reviewed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anthropology, Cultural
  • Arabs / psychology
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Jews / psychology
  • Narration*
  • Social Identification*
  • Social Values*
  • Stereotyping